WIC produces films to encourage tree planting

Watch the Waitaki Irrigators Collective films on YouTube here:



The Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited (WIC) has released three short films aimed at encouraging irrigating farmers to plant trees and integrate trees with irrigation infrastructure.  The films were made with the support of the Waitaki District Council from funding allocated to support projects that encourage the protection and enhancement of amenity and landscape values in the District.

WIC Policy Manager Elizabeth Soal said that the films were part of an ongoing programme to encourage tree planting that the Collective is undertaking.  “We have already produced a booklet for farmers with information about the benefits of trees and how to plan plantings, we have held an interactive workshop and field-day for local farmers, and now we are hoping to reach an even wider audience through the use of films” said Ms Soal.

“Trees bring benefits to the farm as well as the wider community, and we want to spread that message to all our members.  Introducing irrigation and changing infrastructure can mean trees are removed, but we’re encouraging farmers to retain as many trees as possible, as well as establish new plantings and consider other options, like creating wetlands” said Ms Soal.

The three films were shot on farms in the Waitaki District, and focus on the benefits of trees, planning and preparation; integrating trees with irrigation infrastructure; and planting along waterways and creating wetlands.

Waitaki District Council Planning Manager Peter Kloosterman said the Waitaki District Council is pleased to assist in this project, encouraging on-farm biodiversity and potentially creating areas of indigenous ecosystems.  “Last year Council adopted a Biodiversity Strategy and this project fits well with those goals,” says Mr Kloosterman.  “Council is committed to maintaining indigenous biodiversity and the work that is being done by the Waitaki Irrigators Collective and the farming community will contribute to this important goal.”

The films are also to be promoted through the Landcare Kakanui Community Catchment Project (KCCP).  Project Co-ordinator, Nicola Holmes said “the videos are an excellent resource to present messages on the value of enhancing environmental stewardship on farms.  Improving water quality, reducing soil erosion and increasing biodiversity are the cornerstones of the KCCP and the videos are both informative and motivating to encourage changes in some farming practices”.

Ms Soal said that the videos were produced with the assistance of Harriet Palmer, a contractor with significant experience producing similar films and projects for the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association.  “Harriet’s experience and skills were really invaluable in bringing the films to life” said Ms Soal.

Ms Palmer said “the videos clearly show that some Waitaki farmers are doing great things with trees on their properties and are reaping the benefits – for example better water quality, livestock shelter and shade, and increased biodiversity. The videos show what can be done with vision and hard work, and I hope they will encourage many other farmers to get out there and start planting.”

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