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Conservation Volunteers And Fonterra Team Up At CUE Haven–July 4-8 2011

July 8, 2011

A group from Conservation Volunteers set new records for tree planting at CUE Haven the week of July 4-8.  The team, led by John Busson of Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, was made up of Julian and Caroline from Germany, Pillard from France, Katie from Ireland and Graeme, Nick and Edward from England.

The group arrived on Monday morning and after unpacking and having lunch and a short orientation to the CUE Haven project, they went right to work planting trees.

Although there is always a lot for the Conservation Volunteers to do at CUE Haven, our prime objective at this time of year is to plant trees so we asked John and the team to focus solely on planting.  They more than rose to the occasion and planted an amazing 4,100 trees in the course of the week!

The weather service was in a very pessimistic mood and predicted heavy rain and wind each day but other than a few squalls now and then, the team enjoyed brisk sunny, but windy, weather.  And after any showers, the sun would come out:

What makes the group’s accomplishment especially impressive is that they were planting in some very hilly, uneven and slippery terrain, but still managed to plant a huge number of trees.

The Conservation Volunteers visit was generously funded by the Fonterra Catchment Care Programme and on Thursday, the team got some additional help when Pat, Kevin, Steve, Jamie, and Paul from Fonterra’s Maungaturoto, Northland operation came out help with some planting.  Fonterra is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products and is one of New Zealand’s largest companies.

They have a major commitment to community service, especially in the area of rehabilitation of farmland to improve water quality and land productivity.  Fonterra’s Catchment Care Programme is a major supporter of Conservation Volunteers and we are very grateful for the support and assistance that Fonterra has provided the CUE Haven project. It was great to meet some Fonterra staff -the guys were friendly and enthusiastic and made a great contribution to the planting effort.

After a morning of planting together, the Conservation Volunteers and Fonterra teams got together for a relaxing lunch.

On Thursday afternoon, after three and a half days of nonstop planting, the Conservation Volunteers took a well-deserved break and visited Omeru Pa Scenic Reserve.  The Reserve is located approximately 6 kms from CUE Haven and had formerly been used for cattle and sheep grazing but since 1985 a revegetation programme has been underway.  The visit gave the team a chance to learn more about New Zealand history and native bush and also to see how their revegetation efforts at CUE Haven will look in a few years.

Friday morning the team spent some time cleaning up the cottage and getting packed up.  They went up to the planting site and got to work but shortly afterward a “once a year” winter storm hit with high winds, dropping temperatures and horizontal rain.  It was too risky to continue working in the exposed area so the team made it a short day.

We are thrilled with the amount of work the Conservation Volunteers and Fonterra teams accomplished.  We are well on our way to meeting our planting goals for this year thanks to their hard work.  Both groups were a pleasure to work with and we hope to see you all again!

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