Pigeon Bay - Demonstration Wetland

Pigeon Bay - Demonstration Wetland

Pigeon Bay – Stencliffe Farm

Hugh and Jane Eaton
Banks Peninsula Zone

Supporting Habitat Regeneration

Although relative newcomers to Stencliffe Farm in Pigeon Bay, Hugh and Jane Eaton are very at home on the peninsula. They are eager to protect and restore the significant seepages and springs on their sheep and beef property and linking in with the Managing Wetlands as Farm Assets project has been a step in the right direction.

The site boasts a good stand of raupō, considered to be rare on Banks Peninsula, plus there is a patch of regenerating bush and a stream adjacent that Hugh is planning to exclude stock from.

“Our vision is to protect a key area of the farm covering wetland, springs, basalt out-crop, old kowhai trees and stream to encourage the regeneration of habitat for birds, gecko, eels and invertebrates,” Hugh explained at their October demonstration field day.

Pigeon Bay - Demonstration Wetland

With guidance from Jason Butt, Environment Canterbury’s Principal Biodiversity Officer (wetlands), Hugh and Jane wish to start a programme of appropriate work to support regeneration including fencing, weed control and pest control.

Their goal is to have no significant loss of farm production while creating a small sanctuary of forest and wetland forming a nucleus to improve the aesthetic value and biodiversity of the rest of the farm.

Within the scope of the project, NZ Landcare Trust will be helping demonstration site landowners to investigate sources of funding available to farmers wanting to destock wetlands, forrest and streams. Project lead Jo Buckner pointed out that funding models have altered since Covid-19 came about and it is very important the information is up-to-date and accessible.

When standing at the base of the wetland, looking up toward Mt Sinclair, it is easy to imagine how this area would once have looked. The contact group which will be formed around this site will offer other farmers in the region a chance to experience this also and learn more about the wetland types that typify this landscape.