Wilding control money runs out

If you’ve raised your eyes to Tobins Face lately, you’ll have seen there has been encouraging progress on the control work done under the auspices of the AVA’s Arrowtown Wilding Group. Starting at the Crown Range zigzags, contractors have completed felling wilding conifers to a little below the half way mark on Tobins Track. This is part of phase 1 of the Arrowtown Wilding Strategy which was discussed at two town meetings and is available on the AVA website.

Wilding tree clearance

The initial funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries has now run out, but the AWG is putting together applications to community funders including the Central Lakes Trust and the Community Trust of Southland to continue the wilding removal.

If and when funding is approved, contractors will continue work on Tobins Face and pull the wilding spread back towards Arrowtown from Brow Peak/German Hill/Sawpit Gully. We are getting advice and assistance from DOC and the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group. The Arrowtown Choppers will continue to focus on sensitive areas around waterways, tracks and native bush.

Funding allowing, we are hoping to start work again in spring this year, with the bulk of clearance behind the town done in 12 months. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

Revegetation

Phase 2 will look at revegetation and control of weeds, as well as clearing out anything that has sprouted from seed already dispersed. This is a long-term project. We are optimistic that seed can be sown aerially by drones as well as having actual plantings along more accessible tracks and terraces. This will be a combination of natives for biodiversity and exotic colour.

Pest control will be needed to prevent goats and possums browsing on seedlings, and Predator Free Arrowtown’s trap lines will be extended to keep other pests like stoats and rats suppressed and help bring back native wildlife.