Horizons gears up for Central Districts Field Days

Horizons Regional Council is looking forward to spreading the word on work underway to improve water quality across the Region at Central District Field Days next week. 

Chairman Bruce Gordon says the Horizons tent will have a freshwater focus and include representatives from Council’s science, biodiversity, river and land management, consents monitoring, pest plants and animals, rural advice, and hydrology teams.

“The state of freshwater is, and will continue to be, very topical at a national level. Our staff are keen to talk to people about Horizons’ regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives that are contributing to improving water quality in our Region,” says Mr Gordon.

“People who visit our tent will get to see how floodgates and fish passes work, learn how we count freshwater species, and hear how our Sustainable Land Use Initiative is helping to stop sediment from hill country erosion entering our waterways.

“A particular focus will be on our summer swim spot monitoring programme. Staff will explain how weekly samples are taken and tested for 80 sites throughout the Region, and where the results are available for the public to decide when and where it is safe to swim. Part of this information will also be reflected in our emergency management display which includes what to do in a tsunami.”

Mr Gordon says the tent will also include taxidermies of pest animals, and information about pest plants and the new ‘agents’ currently being trialled to control them. 

“Our consents monitoring and rural advice team will be onsite to answer any questions regarding consents and nutrient management, and information on our draft 2017-18 Annual Plan and proposed rates increase will be on hand as well. I encourage those attending Field Days to visit our tent and have a chat to our friendly staff – you might be surprised about what you learn.”

In keeping with the water theme, Horizons are also involved in the Accelerate25 stock water reticulation workshops that are being held as part of the ASB Innovation Hub seminar series. The seminars will discuss how replacing streams and dams with water tanks, pumps, pipes and troughs for stock water on hill country farms positively impacts the bottom line, while also providing livestock and environmental benefits.

Central District Field Days runs from 16-18 March at Manfield raceway. Horizons’ site is located at E28-29. Accelerate25 stock water reticulation workshops are free to Field Day attendees, and will be held in the ASB Innovation Zone at 10.45am on Thursday 16 March and again at 1pm on Friday 17 March.