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Published: 2009-05-20 00:00:00

Waikato farmers have bought a record number of native trees and shrubs for environmental restoration projects through an annual Environment Waikato offer this year.

“It’s heartening to see farmers are still spending money to protect our environment despite the economic challenges the agricultural sector is facing,” Environment Waikato catchment services committee chair Andra Neeley said.

“We’ve had more than 200 farmers and landcare groups ordering plants from us this year, compared with 130 last year.  And the 116,000 plants ordered are up 40 per cent on last year’s 83,000.

“These plants will provide a whole range of environmental benefits, including stabilising erosion-prone areas, reducing flood risks, improving water quality and creating more habitat for native plants and animals.”

Some of the plants will be used by Environment Waikato for its own environmental restoration projects.

This is the fourth year Environment Waikato has offered farmers the chance to buy plants in bulk for environmental projects, allowing them to get top quality plants at competitive rates.

Farmers and care groups will be coming from all around the region over the next few weeks to pick up them up from Environment Waikato depots in Hamilton, Coromandel and Te Aroha.

“We will have staff working full time for the next three weeks at the Hamilton and Coromandel depots unloading the deliveries from nurseries and sorting out orders,” Cr Neeley said.

“We have about 73,000 plants going to the Hamilton depot, 26,000 to the Coromandel depot and 16,500 to Te Aroha.”

The plants are only available to those who have pre-ordered.  Anyone interested in ordering plants for environmental projects next winter can call their local land management officer on 0800 800 401.