The strip of land beside a waterway is a called the riparian zone and it is a crucial buffer between land and water.
Why do we need riparian zones?
Some on-farm benefits of riparian zones include:
- Reduced losses of sediment and nutrients from the land.
- Reduced stock losses, provision of shelter and helping with stock control.
- Reduced drainage maintenance from excessive weeds and silt.
- Minimised flood damage to farmland and infrastructure.
- Increased land and farm value.
Benefits for the wider community include:
- Stabilised banks and reduced erosion.
- Improved water quality and increased biodiversity.
- Improved recreational and cultural values
FactsheetsCreate effective riparian zones
Waterways vary throughout the region and within a single property. However, you can create a successful and valuable riparian zone by following some key steps.Download the Creating riparian zones factsheet
Maintaining riparian zones
Once a riparian zone has been established, it needs regular maintenance in order to stay functional and effective. Creating riparian zones is an investment, so to help you protect them we've put together some tips.
Download the Maintaining riparian zones factsheet.
Weeds in riparian zones
Weeds are 'experts' at colonising bare ground. They are fast growers that will out compete riparian plantings for light, nutrients and moisture. Good weed control while your plants are establishing will not only help with their survival, but will also promote early growth.
Download the Weeds in riparian zones factsheet.
Excluding stock from waterways is the best 'first step' you can take to improve waterways in the Southland region. What kind of fence you use will depend on its purpose, the type of stock being grazed and how much money you can afford to spend on fencing.
Download the Design and cost of fencing factsheet.
Riparian plants for Southland
When choosing plants for a riparian zone, there are a number of factors to consider. It is important to select plants that will do well in your location and can tolerate local conditions. They also need to be the right plant for the job (e.g. for water quality protection or improvement, shelter, bank stabilisation, timber production, aesthetics or biodiversity values).
Download the Riparian plants for Southland booklet.