We had a great site visit on Sunday in the Upper Tukituki sub-catchment where the local community were invited to hear how the Upper Tukituki Catchment Group plan to use a TLC Demonstration Grant to address invasive willows and shingle islands which are redirecting flow, leading to significant erosion and increased silt loads.
The showcase project will focus on nine hectares of invasive willows growing in the channel on a short stretch of the Upper Tukituki River. At the site visit, the local community were invited to see the project site and many were surprised by the extent of the erosion and sizable shingle island.
A booklet, compiled by Charlotte Pederson, was passed around showing aerial photography of the site through the decades and highlighting the impact that the invasive willows have had on the once braided river.
The catchment group are making plans to spray the invasive willows using an agricultural drone and those at the visit were treated to a drone spraying demonstration by Hawke’s Bay company Airborne Solutions - thank you Scott!
A big issue for this project is the consenting process to spray the willows. Upper Tukituki local, Paul Stuitje, has been employed as a project manager and is keen to get some answers around consent for this type of work.
TLC is really excited to be involved with this project, especially given these issues are experienced in other sub-catchments. Learnings from this project will be shared across the wider Tukituki catchment and beyond.