Huntley School digs in for stream enhancement

A Year 8 class from Huntley School joined Horizons Regional Council staff and local landowners to plant 500 trees and shrubs along the Koitiata Stream near Bulls on Tuesday 6 September.

The project is part of a long-term ‘whole of stream’ restoration vision for the OB Group dairy farms near Santoft which is being led by landowners Stuart Taylor and John O’Brien.
The area is now fenced off from the farms’ dairy cattle and plants are being added to improve the habitat for eels, and native fish species including bullies and inanga fish which have been found at some sites along the stream.
“It is great to have the help of Huntley School, Fonterra and Horizons as we take responsibility for protecting and enhancing our waterways,” says landowner Stuart Taylor.
Horizons freshwater coordinator Clare Ridler says plantings alongside the stream provide shade and keeps the water cool over summer, providing the ideal environment for native fish.
“As well as creating shade, planting along waterways is also a great way to improve water quality and extend the habitat for native fish.”
“Teaming up with Huntley School is a great way to get the plants in the ground whilst also giving the children a chance to understand freshwater issues and solutions.”
Huntley School was pleased to support the project during its Service Week where pupils support a range of projects or activities to give back to the community.
Teacher Anne Gardiner-Taylor said it was really positive to see the children getting their hands dirty for the local community and environment.
“The experience has also helped the students gain a better understanding of why we plant along waterways and how it helps improve natural habitats for our native fish and water quality,” says Mrs Gardiner-Taylor.