Wilding conifer group making a difference

Aug 24, 2010

Last week’s win by the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group at the Trustpower Queenstown Lakes District Community Awards is an amazing tribute to a group with only just over a year under its belt.

The voluntary group, supported by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, was established in April last year but can already claim to have cleared some 2,500 hectares of land from a plague of conifers, group chief executive and QLDC district forester Briana O’Brien said.

“We have already completed 15 wilding operations and we have really only just begun,” she said.

The group now had a membership of 56 volunteers and was happy to welcome more.

“We get an amazing turn-out on our wilding volunteer days. I think people are really starting to appreciate what a threat these trees are to our outstanding natural landscape,” Ms O’Brien said.

The focus at present was on Ben Lomond but many other areas were also being targeted.

The group’s next meeting would take place in the Council Chamber on Thursday 14 October at 5.30pm and anyone was welcome to attend.

“We have had great support and this latest recognition by Trustpower is brilliant not only for the volunteers but also as a way to keep the group’s profile in the spot light. It’s not an issue this community can afford to ignore,’ Ms O’Brien said.

The group had also scheduled its next volunteer days, which would take place at Ben Lomond on 20-21 November.

People wanting more information could contact Ms O’Brien at the Council.

“It’s a great way to give something back to the community and the environment and there is a job to suit everyone’s skills and level of fitness,” she said.

Ms O’Brien offered her congratulations to all volunteers taking part in the recent Trustpower Awards.

For further information contact Briana O’Brien 03 4410499

Picture: Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group chief executive Briana O’Brien and the winning section and regional trophies from the recent Trustpower Community Awards.

By: Rebecca