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Published: 2010-06-01 00:00:00

Farmers are being reminded of a great opportunity to learn about how to better protect the environment from the impacts of agriculture.

The "right plant in the right place" is the theme of a farmer information day at the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park in Hamilton on Wednesday 23 June.

To help decide how many trees to have on hand for planting at the event, organisers are keen to hear from farmers who are planning to attend.

Farmers intending to come can contact Catherine Smith from the Friends of Waiwhakareke at 2smiths@wave.co.nz or call 07 855 8296.

The University of Waikato’s Professor Bruce Clarkson, a specialist in environmental restoration, says that planting trees and other vegetation in the right place can help farmers protect both the environment and their financial bottom line.

"I encourage farmers to attend the open day at Waiwhakareke as presenters will be giving out a range of valuable technical information."

Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park is spread over 60 hectares on a working farm on the north west outskirts of Hamilton, bounded by Baverstock, Rotokauri and Brymer Roads. The vision for the park is to create a self-sustaining habitat sanctuary that represents the original ecosystem diversity of the Hamilton Basin. This involves a reconstruction from farmland of native lowland and wetland ecosystems once widespread but now rare in the Waikato.

This reconstruction is being supported financially by Hamilton City Council, Environment Waikato, the University of Waikato and the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust.

At the 23 June information day, organised by the Waiwhakareke Advisory Committee and Friends of Waiwhakareke, topics to be covered include:

· What to plant where – for example on steep erodable land and wetland margins.

· How to use wetlands as a nutrient/water runoff treatment facility.

· How this working farm is being converted to a natural heritage park for the Waikato region

EW chairman Peter Buckley says of the work at Waiwhakareke: "It is a very good example of how co-operation between various agencies can help promote environmental protection and more sustainable agriculture. "

Information day details:

Date - 23rd June, 2010

Where - Baverstock Rd, Hamilton (opposite Farnborough Drive)

Time – 10am-noon

Bring – Gumboots

For further information about Waiwhakareke visit www.waiwhakareke.co.nz.

To join the Friends of Waiwhakareke email newsletter list contact Catherine Smith at 2smiths@wave.co.nz.

For more information about what trees can be useful to plant on farm, contact the Environmental Farming Systems team at EW on 0800 800 401.