From Malcolm Rutherford, QEII rep for the District :
It’s always interesting doing the first monitoring visit on a new registered covenant. The fences are up, and the stock is out, and the next job for me as the local QEII rep is to set up some photo points. I pick a range of spots where we will see change over time. Around the edges where there is plenty of light there is a very rapid response and within a year there is a noticeable improvement in the condition of the vegetation. In contrast, on soils that have been compacted by cattle, and in areas that are a bit darker it can take much longer with some species not coming back for a few decades if at all. At Pongaroa there are small seedlings coming up already, so hopefully they can get a good start and start to form the understory, and the next generation of canopy trees.
The two new covenant blocks at Pongaroa Station keep stock out of 2.5 km of stream in the Whangawehi and Wainui catchments. There is also a major revegetation program planned.
One treat of carrying out a monitoring visit is finding interesting species On this visit I came across an epiphytic orchid called Drymoanthus adversus. It isn’t much to look at and can be hard to spot, but if you get close enough at this time of year you’ll see it has quite stunning flowers – you’ll need a magnifying glass to have a good look though as they are tiny.