Hutt at Heart

Grant scheme to support indigenous habitats on private land kicks off

Hutt City Council today launched a scheme to support private landowners wanting to protect and improve indigenous plant and animal habitats on their land.

Council has put aside $450,000 over three years to help landowners with activities ranging from weed and pest control through to extensive regeneration of indigenous vegetation. The grants scheme was designed in collaboration with a range of Lower Hutt landowners.

Applications for the first funding round are open from 15 June to 31 July.

Council Ecology and Horticulture Advisor Jonathan Frericks says: “A number of Lower Hutt people are already doing some remarkable and important work to establish and preserve indigenous habitats on their land.

“So it’s Council’s intention to support these people and encourage and assist other landowners to take care of our native bush.”

There are two types of grants available. Tier One grants of up to $1000 in value will provide materials, labour or expertise for projects such as weed and pest control. Tier Two grants of up to $20,000 are for larger scale, higher impact projects, and applications will need to have an accompanying management plan.

Before European settlement, most of Lower Hutt was covered with thick forest and areas of wetland. Despite decades of development, Lower Hutt still contains numerous natural areas providing habitats for indigenous plant and animal species, and many areas are now recovering to native bush.

Some of these sites are home to rare or threatened species or habitats. Native bush and scrub also have important functions such as water cleansing, erosion and flood reduction and sequestering carbon, an important part of reducing the country’s net carbon emissions.

More information about the grants can be found at: huttcity.govt.nz/indigenous-biodiversity-grants

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