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Rain Brings New Life to Planting Programme

Kēkeregū Coast looking south. An example of the incredible ecosystems the trail passes through

After an extended dry-ish spell, the welcome rain has finally arrived.  With such good growing conditions The Whale Trail planting team is eager to continue this year’s programme. The Whale Trail’s planting plan focuses on sustainable habitat enhancement, improving both the environment and the experience for trail users.

Restoration planting plays a crucial role in areas where native vegetation is scarce or completely lost. By reintroducing native plants along the trail, we can assist the restoration of native areas, increase biodiversity, and create valuable habitats for native birds and insects. Additionally, these efforts contribute to erosion control, water filtration, and overall amenity value. 

Planting Manager Rob Dunn prepares the ground at the Awatere Bridge

The Whale Trail not only links communities but also connects a variety of natural habitats. From the beech forests of the Marlborough Sounds to the arid coastal dunes of the East Coast and the unique features of the Kaikoura coast, the trail encompasses diverse ecosystems.

We are deeply grateful to the many land owners along the trail who generously provide access to support this community project. Community planting initiatives effectively connect people to our land, fostering a sense of contribution and unity. Working alongside iwi, local communities, and service organisations, our planting plan aims to restore special sites along the trail, such as the recently planted Blue Hole in the Para Wetlands.

Waikawa Bay School getting amongst the planting on the Lindens Road section

There are practical benefits to our planting efforts as well. Managing the grass verge along the nearly 200km trail requires extensive hours with weed eaters, incurring significant costs and carbon emissions. By enhancing the native vegetation, we create a low-maintenance corridor of native plantings that not only reduce upkeep but also provide crucial habitats for native flora and fauna.

We look forward to seeing the positive impact of our planting programme flourish with the recent rains, benefiting both the environment and the trail community.


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