Tiromoana Bush is a national treasure in the making. Transwaste Canterbury Limited has provided the country with a multi-million dollar conservation estate that will offer tremendous recreational, educational and scientific opportunities for present and future generations of New Zealanders and tourists.
As part of the establishment of the Kate Valley Landfill, Transwaste has set aside a 410 hectare area of land in the middle and lower Kate Valley, known as Tiromoana Bush. This area is extraordinarily rich in scenic and natural values.
Although it has been farmed as part of the Tiromoana Station for over a century, the area still retains substantial areas of regenerating native forest and wetlands, which form the nucleus of the restoration project. The project revolves around a major conservation and bush restoration programme funded by Transwaste, that will see the area eventually restored to a condition similar to the original lowland and coastal forest that existed there before people settled in New Zealand. Lowland forest is nationally rare and under-represented. The restoration of Tiromoana Bush will result in an area of national biodiversity and conservation significance.
Permanent protection of the site has been secured through the establishment of a QEII National Trust open space covenant. This will ensure that the restoration work undertaken at Tiromoana Bush will be protected and that the valuable restored bush area will remain accessible to future generations.
The restoration plan, which has been developed by Dr David Norton of the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry, sees the Tiromoana Bush over a long period restored to a predominantly forest ecosystem, including coastal broadleaved, mixed podocarp-broadleaved and black beech forests, where the plants and animals typical of the Motunau Ecological District persist without threat of extinction, and where people visit for recreation and to appreciate the restored natural environment.
A key assumption underlying the approach to the restoration of Tiromoana Bush is that active restoration will work with natural successional processes. Strategically located plantings will be used to facilitate and speed up these natural processes in conjunction with proactive plant and animal pest control, but letting nature sort out eventual ecosystem composition and structure appropriate to the site’s environment.