30 Nov 2009

MAF approves East Coast erosion control projects

8:32 am on 30 November 2009

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has approved 19 new applications from East Coast farmers who want to plant trees to control erosion.

The applications, worth almost $3.5 million, will provide for plantings on 2,147 hectares of severely eroded land.

Cyclone Bola in March 1988 highlighted the susceptibility of vast areas of the East Coast to erosion and in 1992 the Government set up the East Coast Forestry Project.

Since then sustainable land management has been achieved on 33,745 hectares of land, either through trees being planted or the land being allowed to revert to native bush.

MAF regional manager in Gisborne for Sustainable Programmes Randolph Hambling says the total area approved for funding this year is 90 hectares down on 2008.

Mr Hambling says 69% of the area approved for erosion control will be planted in trees and 22% with poplar and willow poles.

He says the remaining 11% of the land will be allowed to revert to native bush.

Land owned by Maori trusts accounts for 52% of the total area.