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Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust working to protect native landscapes.

The Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust has spent more than a decade working to control wilding pines throughout the Marlborough Sounds.

Originally coordinated by a small group of landowners, the organisation has grown to include members of the wider community and has formed partnerships with businesses working in and around the area.

Left unmanaged, wilding pines have the potential to overtake the natural flora and fauna of the environment, threatening New Zealand’s native species’ and landscapes.

Recently, Tall Poppy Picton and Marlborough Sounds owner Grant Douglas became a trustee of the Marlborough Restoration Trust.

While dedicated to pest trapping at his Marlborough Sounds home, he wanted to make a meaningful contribution to his community and his environment at a higher level.

“Living in the Marlborough Sounds, I know first hand how important it is to actively work on pest control, and persistently, to avoid pests taking over our beautiful environment,” he says.

“The Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust does some amazing work in this area and I wanted to support that.”

Trust Coordinator Siobain Finlow-Bates says support from the community enables them to channel their efforts in a coordinated way to give them the best chance at long-term results.

As a new Trustee Grant gets out to see the crew at work reduced (1).JPG

“We have been carrying out wilding pine control in the Marlborough Sounds for twelve years; it started with the landowners chipping away and not making much progress.

“Coming together to do it in a more coordinated way, we can achieve a lot more,” she says.

The group now works strategically throughout the Sounds, block by block, bay by bay.

Obtaining funding for the programme can be difficult as the Trust competes with other areas of New Zealand doing the same work, Siobain says.

“There’s millions being spent [by the Government] in high country areas down south, and because those areas are taking so much funding the Sounds is considered a low priority area.”

As such, sponsorship in the form of money, transport, accommodation and equipment add up, and make a big difference to their ability to undertake their work long term, she says.

Considered the Trust’s flagship programme, the wilding pine programme is about control, rather than eradication and requires return visits to each block every eight to 10 years.

Recently, they also began working on animal pest control in the Marlborough Sounds.

If you would like to support the Trust in any way, visit the Trust website to find out how: http://soundsrestoration.org.nz/how-you-can-help.