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NPDC lets nature do its thing for biodiversity

Featured news Local
PUBLISHED: 22 MAR 2024

What might look like patches of overgrown grass to some, are in fact sites carefully tended by NPDC to encourage a growing mix of diversity.

The Council takes a low-maintenance approach to several areas, such as alongside rivers and beneath trees, to create environments where insects can thrive.

“It’s great for improving biodiversity, both in plant and insect species,” says NPDC Manager Parks and Open Spaces Conrad Pattison.

“We’re sometimes asked why we aren’t mowing an area of long grass but what’s harder to see is the ecosystem that’s thriving there. We let nature do its thing.”

Taranaki’s native bush areas, rivers and streams, wetlands and coastal areas provide significant habitats for indigenous flora and fauna species, including threatened species.

Keeping grass long helps the soil retain moisture, especially in summer, and reduces soil compaction from mowing.

In addition, NPDC has been developing its programme of seeding wildflowers in public places.

“Wildflowers look great with their vibrant colours but they’re also a good food source for bees and butterflies, and many of them fix nitrogen so they improve soil condition too.

“We’ve got a few spots on traffic islands and along Powderham Street in the city and we’re looking at expanding the seeding of wildflowers to more places around the district,” says Conrad.

 

Fast facts:

  • More than 280ha of lawn is mowed by NPDC throughout the district.
  • NPDC looks after 1,600ha of park and reserve land and 82km of walkways.
  • Twenty-four sport parks, 16ha gardens and 68ha of coastal dunes are also maintained by NPDC.

 

Caption: Wildflowers on the Corner of Gill and Eliot streets in full bloom last month.