A $400,000 grant from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board has provided very timely additional funding for the Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust.
Trust chairman Ali Timms says she was thrilled to receive the grant, which would go some way to assist in the project to eradicate wilding pines from Mid Dome.
The grant was allocated by the Lottery WWI Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Committee after they noted the project aligned well with Lottery Grants Board outcomes and the natural heritage priorities and funding criteria.
The Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust was established in 2006, with the goal to eradicate wilding pines from Mid Dome and surrounding land to protect the ecological, economic and recreational values of more than 100,000 hectares of high country land.
A variety of tools have been used over the years to remove seedlings, including aerial spraying and ground control programmes and many hours have been put in by volunteers during workdays.
Ms Timms says the wilding conifers are like any other weed, in that it is always more cost effective to kill them before they grow larger and start producing viable seeds, so much of the work is targeted on the young and seeding trees.
The goal is to get the infestations down to manageable levels, so the land can then be handed back to landowners for ongoing management.
Ms Timms says the trust is grateful for the assistance of their funding partners, Land Information New Zealand, Department of Conservation and Environment Southland.
“Big thanks must also go to our funding coordinator Karen Maw for all the work she put in during the application process."