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Our Environment: Issue 7 Autumn 1996:

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Spencer Park Wetland Development

Through the Coast Care Programme, a wetland development is planned for Spencer Park. An area which has become overgrown with weeds species such as willow, pine and poplar, is being cleared and will be replanted with native wetland species. The area still has good wetland qualities, being underwater throughout most winter months, and retaining a high ground water level throughout summer.

Last year clearing started on the east side, and will continue this year. Once the weed trees are removed, a follow up control is needed for re-sprouting shoots. When the weeds are under control, planting will begin. We envisage a graduation from rushes and sedges through to coastal trees and shrubs around the margins. Flax already exists in the area, along with a good range of sedges and rushes.

The margins of the wetland area to the east, have been developed with picnic tables, grassed areas and informal car parking. This will enable visitors to relax near the wetland without disturbing the wildlife or vegetation.

It is planned that a semi-permanent pond be created, and a number of islands for bird roosting sites. This will afford some protection to the birds from people, dogs and other predators. It will also add to the wildlife, scenic and educational values of the park.

A raised board walk will be developed around the margins of the west side to allow visitors a close encounter with the wetland plants and wildlife, with minimum impact. In conjunction with this, one or two viewing hides in strategic locations will enable better views of wildlife activities without disturbance.

This exciting development is still in the early phases, but we hope it will add to an already high value wetland area in Brooklands Lagoon. Arthur Adcock, the Spencer Park Ranger, is overseeing developments there currently. However, we are seeking expert advice on the finer points of creating the wetland. If anyone has an interest in these developments, feel free to call Melanie White, Coast Care Co-ordinator on 382-1678, or Arthur Adcock, Spencer Park Ranger on 329-8507.

Melanie White
Coast Care Co-ordinator
Ph: 382-1678

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