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Guidelines for landowners in peat lake catchments:

current best management practices for farming sustainably to protect the peat lakesImage of dense swards of sedges at Lake Kaituna. 


The aim of the Guidelines is to provide landowners farming in peat lake catchments with a range of current ‘Best Management Practices’ (BMPs) to reduce environmental impacts on the region’s peat lakes. The BMPs centre on sustainable land managment and
protecting important natural resources. To provide a context for the BMPs, information on peat lake values with an emphasis on the benefits of the lakes to farms are also included.

The BMPs highlight how to:

  • manage the flow of nutrients and sediments from farmed land to the lakes and surrounding wetlands
  • minimise further peat shrinkage around the lakes.

Rules drawn from the Regional and District Council Plans which relate to the BMPs are also included.

Guidelines for landowners in peat lake catchments
(1101 kb, 157 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Table of contents

1 Introduction 2
1.1 What are peat lakes? 2
1.1.1 Peat lake information 2
1.1.2 Peat facts 2
1.2 Why are the Waikato peat lakes so important? 3
1.2.1 Waikato District peat lakes map 5
1.2.2 Waipa District peat lakes map 6
1.3 Wetlands and farming 7
2 Peat lake management 8
3 The changing landscape 9
4 Farming in peat lake catchments 10
4.1 The effects of farm nutrients on peat lake health 10
4.1.1 Nitrogen (N) 10
4.1.2 Phosphorus (P) 11
4.2 Farm nutrient and sediment hot spots 11
4.2.1 Current BMPs for minimising excess nutrient and sediment loss 12
4.2.2 Other relevant rules 15
4.3 Peat shrinkage 16
4.3.1 How fast does peat shrink? 16
4.3.2 Current BMPs for slowing peat shrinkage 17
5 The future of the peat lakes 18
6 Appendices 19
6.1 Peat lakes of the Waikato district 19
6.2 Peat lakes of the Waipa district 20
6.3 Getting good advice 21