The Ruamahanga Restoration Trust aims to work with landowners and council in restoring pockets of hillside bush and riparian strips as biodiversity corridors along the upper reaches of the Ruamahanga River, from the bridge at Mt Bruce and the hillsides surrounding the Pūkaha Wildlife Centre, all the way to the ancient podocarp bush reserves that surround Rathkeale College—and from there—onwards through Gladstone, Martinborough, to Palliser Bay.
This work will require funding for the installation of protective fences, the planting of native trees, and the removal of invasive pests and predators so that pockets of bush and waterways can be restored as protected sanctuaries for native birds and indigenous fish species. We also hope to support landowners' cover fees associated with securing and placing unique and biodiverse blocks or remnant pockets of native forest into QEII land covenants.
Just as Pūkaha is beginning to see signs that birds like kākā are making their way from Zealandia in Wellington via the Tararua ranges, we see no reason why we can't help coax native birds back into Masterton and our surrounding towns and rural areas, via our network of waterways.
Furthermore, with the advent of climate change, more work and action has to be taken to help mitigate the effects of severe flooding and or droughts within the catchment.
To date, the Ruamahanga Restoration Trust has funded restoration plantings on eight private properties and two council reserves, including three QEII covenant sites, with many more in the pipeline.