Ashburton District Council has approved $2000 of funding for the installation of 50 signs
along roadsides from State Highway 72 to the foothills in a bid to protect the District’s native plant species.
The funding decision was made in response to a High Plains Roadside Vegetation Survey report which recommended increased signage to educate the community.
"Native dryland vegetation in our District has been under threat for a number of years due to clearance, trimming, grazing and spraying. The vegetation survey report found that much of the loss of these species appears to have been caused by a lack of awareness of the presence of these plants," Service Delivery Group Manager Neil McCann says.
The report found that of the 113 native vegetation sites surveyed since the mid 1990’s, only three per cent had improved, 19 per cent had deteriorated, and 34 per cent had disappeared.
"Signs have already been installed along roadsides on the lower plains, and this latest effort is a continuation of our work to protect significant sites of native vegetation on roadsides throughout the District. We hope these signs help the community make good land-use decisions that encourage the establishment of indigenous species," he adds.
Environment Canterbury Regional Council has also approved funding towards the new signage.
The High Plains Roadside Vegetation survey was undertaken in January 2016 by environmental consultant Mike Harding following a Council decision to commission the survey in July 2015.