Woodville Nursery - Vero 3 month growth

Horizons' land management work focuses on reducing erosion, protecting soil health and encouraging sustainable use of our land resources. To carry out this work we lead and support a number of work programmes across the region including the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI).

Everyone in Horizons' Region benefits from SLUI either through increased flood protection, better water quality, or protection of hill country and native habitats. For this reason, all ratepayers pay a Uniform Annual Charge to fund the programme central government also contributes.

Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI)

Over half our region’s land is classified as hill country and, in an economy defined by agriculture, it is vital to manage this land sustainably. Our Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI) takes a 'mountains to the sea' approach to protecting our valuable hill country soils where they are at risk of moderate to severe erosion. By keeping this soil on our hills and out of our waterways we can enhance water quality and increase productivity.

SLUI uses a variety of tools, with a key part of the programme being based around the development of Whole Farm Plans (WFPs) with individual farmers. These plans are voluntary and once developed are followed up with a works and incentive programme aimed at reducing erosion.

If you are interested in learning more about WFPs, please read more on the handout below:

Funding Handout Sheet

Map of Land Management Advisor Areas

Get in touch with your LMA

Our team’s programme is targeted at reducing erosion control and reducing sediment in our region’s waterways by allowing revegetation on erosion-prone land.

Get in touch to talk to us about fencing of wetlands, bush, riparian areas in hill country or afforestation or planting of poplar poles. We can advise you on our different criteria and funding levels. We can also advise you on land management issues.

Get in touch with your local LMA, provided on the map, or email  

Land Management Teams Map

Poplar poles

There are many benefits of planting willow and poplar poles. Erodible hillsides can be stabilised and sustained as farmland, because the extensive root systems of these trees bind and hold the soil in place. Poles can protect farm assets like fences and tracks, which are prone to slip damage. They work as shelter belts, reduce damage to watercourses, provide shade and shelter for stock, and timber. Poplars and willows produce useful stock feed, which can be an extra feed reserve during droughts. For example, about 1.4 kg of fresh poplar leaves maintain a ewe for a day.

The best months to plant poplar and willow poles are in the winter months - June, July and August. You need to plan which paddocks to plant, and how many poles they’ll take.

Horizons Regional Council can help you by: 

  • providing free advice to help you plan, including how to choose a suitable species of poplar or willow, how many you need and how far apart the poles should be planted 
  • giving advice on how to plant poles 
  • arranging nursery supplies
  • in some cases contributing funds towards the cost of erosion control plantings through our environmental grants – contact your LMA for more information

Woodville Nursery - Vero 3 month growth

A major part of the environmental work programme in hill country is the planting of poplar and willow poles for erosion control. As well as reducing erosion, these trees provide shade, shelter and drought fodder.

We source appropriate pole material for farmers from a mix of our own and commercial nurseries throughout the Region and can provide grants to establish these poles for erosion control.

For information on pole plantings see the factsheets below:

Right Tree right place

Horizons, through our SLUI programme, is looking for ways to support forestry on farms with the right tree in the right place for the right purpose.

Trees for our Region (Book)


Forestry Information Sheet


Industry partnerships

We recognise the need to work alongside others involved in the farming industry to develop sustainable land use.

We support the Ballance Farm Environment AwardsPoplar and Willow Research Trust , forestry industry research, Beef & Lamb programmes and various Sustainable Farming Fund programmes.

Please click on the links above for more information about these organisations.