Hi Everyone Nick here. From the beginning of Enhancing the Halo we have been working closely with Amber Bill who is the Programme Manager, Our Living City, WCC. The amount of coffee and conversation Amber and her wonderful workmates have had with the Halo team would make Geoff Marsland from Havana in Tory very excited! The great work done by Wellington City Council past and present certainly makes them one of our Halo Hero organisations. She is pretty busy but I got her to tell us some of the work WCC is very proud of so take it away Amber.
Thanks Nick. Hi everybody. Growing our natural capital is high on our list of priorities, and with over 4000 hectares of open space to manage, there’s plenty to do.
There are plenty of biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ around the city, some favourites are already listed on this website, but there are plenty more – from the cool coastal turf plant communities dotted around the south coast, to remnant sand dunes out at Kinnoull Station, to the beautiful tawa forest at Wilf Mexted Reserve, and the salt marshes at Makara Estuary – important places occur right across the city – and in all of these, nature is being restored and loved by local communities.
Wellington City Council undertakes weed control across more than 36 priority ‘key native ecosystem’ areas across around 1400 hectares, and there are also programmes targeting some specific problem weeds across the city, such as old man’s beard, banana passionfruit, and climbing asparagus. The Council also carries out pest animal control, including possums and rats through a network of bait stations throughout the city. This is a joint programme with Greater Wellington Regional Council and covers c. 4,700 ha . Bait station lines are mainly maintained by the Regional Council, but there are also a number which are looked after by volunteers. We also help support volunteers with trapping stoats, weasels, rats and hedgehogs. Council contractors carry out feral pig and goat control, including an ambitious project to try to drastically reduce the numbers of feral goats in the rural part of Wellington on both public and private land, with significant funding from the Department of Conservation.
But it’s not all about killing things, we’re growing things too – especially plants; two million of them! The Council’s Two Million Trees programme aims to see two million native plants across the city by 2020. Our Berhampore Nursery grows over 80,000 eco-sourced native plants every year and these are planted by both Council and the community. In addition, nurseries like the Forest and Bird nursery also provide heaps of native plants, so by working together, we hope to reach our ambitious target. For more information see: http://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/two-million-trees
Most importantly, Council also supports over 70 environmental community groups, with advice, the provision of plants, help with pest control, and training. For more about this – see: http://wellington.govt.nz/recreation/parks-and-reserves/reserves/volunteers-and-support
It is great working with you all. Amber