TAGS

August 2021 Thriving Southland Newsletter

As the first year of the Thriving Southland project ticks past, there’s been lots of good feedback from Catchment Groups, as well as energy and positivity from around the region. 

It's great to see the Catchment Groups gain momentum – and that Thriving Southland's role in supporting and assisting them to access the resources and funding available is really making a positive difference. There’s been good feedback from across New Zealand and plenty of interest in the great work of Southland’s Catchment Groups. 

Looking ahead, we will continue to support Groups to keep their momentum going and it’ll be great to see results coming in from the various projects underway. Taking the bull by the horns is what Catchment Groups are all about - and it’s exciting to see so many projects taking shape. 

Many of these projects are pilots that can hopefully be replicated (with a tweak or two) in other Catchments. 

The theme of a community taking action and defining its own path forward is one that resonated with the large audience attending the Between The Domes Catchment Group’s Winter Event in July, that included an update on the Southland Charity Hospital project. 

We are looking forward to year two and working on some exciting projects to help grow engagement and answer questions, including a video promoting our wonderful Catchment Groups and a Southland history presentation for Groups to use and share. 

Heading into calving and lambing season, please keep checking in on your neighbours and friends - we all need to look after each other during this busy period. 

Remember to check www.thrivingsouthland.co.nz for new information, news, event listings and updates, and keep up to date with our Facebook page.

Catchment Group Profile - Wendonside Catchment Group

When was the Group started?
Our group formed in June 2019 when our community came together with a combined desire to further understand groundwater and surface water quality in our catchment. Our membership remains at 48 which represents approximately 85 percent of the catchment.

How often do you meet, and where?
The committee meets regularly, and there are many public meetings and an AGM - the 2021 AGM was held on 15 July at the Wendonside Hall.

What projects/events is the Group working on?
We have been able to continue with another full year of quarterly sampling over 26 bore sites and 16 surface sites. Our initial aim was to gather three years of data.
  • We have been able to secure funding for the Boundary Creek water sampling site project which was started last year. 
  • We recently received funding from Thriving Southland for two projects:
    • the Landscape Project- this project will combine a variety of innovative science and farmer knowledge to produce information at paddock scale for an individual property, helping to understand the relationship between land use and water quality. 
    • the Stream Health Project - this project will see us assess the state and trend of our waterways in a variety of locations within our catchment.
  • We held a wintering field day on 10 June, attended by around 40 people. It was great to see members bringing along their staff.  

What's the best way for people to contact you?
Group Chair Rob Dingle - wendonsidecg@gmail.com

Catchment Group Events

Lower Oreti Catchment Group inaugural event

We had an incredible first Lower Oreti Catchment Group event on the 29 June. It was straight into action with the wintering event - with more than 50 people visiting two farms and learning some top tips for wintering. Many photographs were taken by attendees, especially of Georgie and Graham Marshall’s top tips for electric fencing and water trough plumbing and moving.

Environment Southland Land Sustainability staff got people thinking about good management practices for wintering, and the benefits of sediment traps. Lots of questions were asked and answered, and all of this was followed by a great BBQ with merino lamb chops and Hereford beef sausages! Keep looking at the Lower Oreti Catchment Group Facebook page here for future events. 

Waikawa Catchment Group pest management workshop

It was an interesting day with the Waikawa Catchment Group at their pest management workshop on 1 July. Raoul and Jolie from Environment Southland and Jolene from DOC came and shared their huge array of knowledge on plants, pests and animal pests. They bought with them a wide range of traps and shared tips and tricks. There are plans to have a trap box building day with Scouts and a register of how trapping is going across the catchment. Tony Leigh also shared his invaluable tips and tricks on trapping in the district.

The Good the Bad and the ‘Mudly’ discussed at Three Rivers Catchment Group event

Three Rivers Catchment Group organised an evening event to bring their community together to talk about the Good the Bad and the Mudly on 2 July. The evening was well attended with a lot of new faces, with plenty of discussion about wintering plans, and what to do if the weather gets tough. The evening led into a community wintering tour to take a look at different wintering systems.

Dipton turns out for B+LNZ Farm Environment Plan Workshop

About 20 farmers came together for the second B+LNZ Farm Environment Plan workshop hosted by the Greater Dipton Catchment Group on 5 July. This one was all about getting your Farm Environment Plan - aka FEP - on paper. B+LNZ gave each attendee a folder packed with tools and resources to help them get going and develop their plans after the workshop. The Dipton Group are now looking at their next steps to keep the FEP momentum going.

Waikaka Stream Catchment Group gets down to farm planning business too

The Waikaka Stream Catchment Group and Beef + Lamb NZ put their heads together for a farm planning workshop at the Waikaka Sports Complex on 7 July. The plans are applicable to all farming types and free. Part two will be later in October/November.

ACE Project overview - Thriving Southland podcast (7 July)

Check out the latest Thriving Southland podcast where Angus Kebbell talks with Rachael Halder about how one key project in the Aparima River basin is engaging all 600+ farms so that through modelling and monitoring, the actions of every farm plan will be linked to water quality outcomes. Listen here.

Power of local people working together reinforced at Between The Domes winter event

Between The Domes Catchment Group nailed it with their winter event on 8 July. Thanks to Keith Woodford and Dr. Murray Pfiefer from the Southland Charity Hospital for sharing their wisdom. Keith discussed greenhouse gases and agriculture, while Murray relayed the inspiring story of the Southland Charity Hospital - a community taking matters into their own hands to make a difference.The power of local people coming together to overcome challenges should never be underestimated.

Waimatuku Catchment Group community planting day a huge success

More than 30 people, including neighbours, kids and even some people from Invercargill, pitched in to plant about 500 native plants at a community planting day near Drummond on 13 July. 

The native plants were planted on the hillside above Petra and Dirk’s Dietsche’s bund system on their dairy farm. The bund system is helping filter water as it makes its way to the Waimatuku Stream. Thanks to Ōraka Aparima Runaka for donating 350 plants. We got some valuable planting tips and enjoyed some amazing views of the Takitimu Mountains on a fantastic Southland winter’s day. The BBQ afterwards was pretty impressive too. Check out an ODT story on the day here.

Waihopai Catchment Group on-farm recycling day showcases options

Charlotte Burns opened and closed the On Farm Recycling Field Day in Te Reo Maori.

There was a cracker of a field day put on by the Waihopai Catchment Group on 13 July. Woodlands Full Primary School pupil Charlotte Burns opened and closed the On Farm Recycling Field Day in Te Reo Maori.  All things recycling were discussed - on farm and household – and many ideas were shared.  We got to see the Plasback recycling system in action in the paddock, and heard from JJ Morgan from PGG Wrightson Invercargill and Ken Murch from Plasback, who took us through recycling of baleage wrap, silage wrap, chemical containers, 60 to 100 litre drums, and much more. Linnet Burns took us through household, dairy shed and community recycling options too. 

Did you know you can recycle old dog and cat food bags at Waikiwi Vets, dairy shed aerosol cans in your steel recycling, drop your 60L plastic containers at PGG Wrightson Ltd, old phones at Vodafone, Spark and 2 Degrees shops, and don't bin your milk bottle lids or bread bags tags either!

Joel & Linnet Burns explaining how they recycle their bale wrap

Thanks to Joel and Linnet Burns for being wonderful hosts, and involving their whole farming team and family in the event. Also thanks to Aloma Williams (Woodlands School's Principal) who supported Charlotte to open and close the event.

Our final hot tip was to involve your kids. They are our future farmers and Southlanders, and they love helping out with recycling especially if fish and chips are involved!

Greater Dipton Catchment Group citizen science project

Greater Dipton Catchment Group are part of an exciting new initiative to get our local communities more involved in Citizen Science in Southland.  Thanks to Rob and Sam from Environment Southland, who spent an afternoon in and around the Dipton Stream teaching group members how to use a SHMAK kit aka Stream Health Monitoring Assessment. Some uses could include:

  • working out the water quality of your local waterway and providing a baseline of your current state.
  • monitoring the same waterway over time to see the impact of your actions on farm to improve water quality.
  • monitoring a waterway in different places (say the top and bottom of your farm or catchment) to see what impact your farm is having on the waterway.

More training is being planned to help spread the knowledge locally, and there will be a homegrown local network in place to regularly do this monitoring.  There are still spaces on the next training session, so please contact Lynden Prebble on 0272 410 868 to book your spot.      

Over time, Environment Southland are hoping to organise training across Southland.  Please get in touch with Sarah Thorne if your Catchment Group might be keen to be involved in the future (on 027 588 5200 or sarah@thrivingsouthland.co.nz).

Greater Dipton Catchment Group are part of an exciting new initiative to get our local communities more involved in Citizen Science in Southland.  Thanks to Rob and Sam from Environment Southland, who spent an afternoon in and around the Dipton Stream teaching group members how to use a SHMAK kit aka Stream Health Monitoring Assessment. Some uses could include:

  • working out the water quality of your local waterway and providing a baseline of your current state.
  • monitoring the same waterway over time to see the impact of your actions on farm to improve water quality.
  • monitoring a waterway in different places (say the top and bottom of your farm or catchment) to see what impact your farm is having on the waterway.

More training is being planned to help spread the knowledge locally, and there will be a homegrown local network in place to regularly do this monitoring.  There are still spaces on the next training session, so please contact Lynden Prebble on 0272 410 868 to book your spot.      

Over time, Environment Southland are hoping to organise training across Southland.  Please get in touch with Sarah Thorne if your Catchment Group might be keen to be involved in the future (on 027 588 5200 or sarah@thrivingsouthland.co.nz).

Mid Oreti Catchment Group checks out new composting barn

Sixty people joined the Mid Oreti Catchment Group from as far as wide as Luggate, to look at ABLime’s composting wintering barn trial on 21 July. Steve Smith, ABLime’s General Manager, took us through how the composting barn has gone in its first winter; what they learnt, what worked well and what can be improved. Attendees got to touch, smell and dig through the compost. The bbq lunch went down really well too. Thanks to the AB Lime and Mid Oreti Catchment Groups teams for organising and hosting this great field day.

Orepuki Catchment Group wintering day showcases good grazing practice

On 21 July, the Orepuki Catchment Group explored the Orepuki coastline, with local farmers showing us some of their winter crop grazing, sharing their why, and discussing the many options out there for winter grazing.  Thanks to the Orepuki Catchment Group for hosting and the Orepuki Tavern for an outstanding afternoon tea!

Oreti Catchment Groups Get Together great opportunity to share ideas

The Oreti Catchment Groups had their second get together to share information and ideas on 21 July. It was a great evening, with nearly every Oreti Catchment Group represented, along with the New River Estuary Forum. It is really inspiring seeing all that they have achieved during the past year, and they have some great plans for the future. The Oreti is now full of locally run and supported Catchment Groups that are creating lots of projects and events. We may even have another Group in the pipeline! 


Keep well and warm,

Ngā mihi

Richard Kyte (Thriving Southland Project Lead) and the Thriving Southland Team



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT