Picture of stream bank needing

April: why bother?

What’s more important, our personal wants or the needs of nature?

How did we get here?

Well you are obviously reading this because you have an interest (soon to be passion) in riparian/revegetation planting but there are some people out there who are all for the removal of native bush and riparian zones.

For some, it’s wanting space to build housing; we are all feeling the pressure of the property market in Auckland. Others simply like the aesthetics of being able to see a babbling brook at the bottom of their garden. Or if you go more rural, less trees and shrubs means more space for grass to feed the dairy machine.

Whatever the reason there is now a need to plant up these areas as we have become aware of the impacts of removing native bush and as I will focus on, riparian margins.

Why bother?

So here’s where we get a bit doom and gloom, the effects of loss of riparian vegetation. The two main areas affected are water quality and biodiversity. This is where we use buzz words like runoff, pollution, habitat loss and extinction. Rain runs straight off the land into the waterways carrying with it excess nitrates from fertilisation, soil which causes erosion and any litter or debris left lying around. Bare stream banks provide no hidey homes for our native fauna. Imagine being a fish swimming down the stream that is cloudy with run off, filled with rubbish and hot from the rays of the sun beating down on it all day, no thanks I say.

How can I help?

Planting along the stream and river banks helps mitigate or totally remove these problems. Grasses help stabilise the soil and slow the runoff so the water can subside into the ground allowing for nitrates to be taken up by the riparian plants.

Trees and shrubs provide habitats for birds, insects and reptiles as well as shading the waterway to keep it cool so the fish don’t cook. And let’s be honest, sitting on your porch gazing into the beautiful bush and listening to the tuis sing is very relaxing.

So what’s more important, our personal wants or the needs of nature?