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Help sought to finish planting at tuatara enclosure

The Whinray Eco Charitable Trust (WECT) at Motu is having a community planting day within the new tuatara predator-proof enclosure on Sunday, November 1.

WECT have been undertaking a new and exciting project to establish a predator-proof tuatara enclosure adjacent to the established kiwi chick predator-proof enclosure at Motu.

“This is an exciting project which aims to establish a wild tuatara population at the Motu site,” said Whinray trustee Robyn Wilkie. “Steve Sawyer with assistance from local farmer Dan Griffin has built an extension to the existing kiwi chick enclosure to create a protected habitat,” she said.

Pania King, for the trust, sought a grant from the Ministry for Primary Industries to buy trees to be planted in the new tuatara area.

Offers of support have come from Kelsi Haenga at Farmcare and from Juken New Zealand, which sponsored a planting crew to get most of the trees in the ground. Ms Haenga is four-times great granddaughter of James Whinray.

Volunteers are sought to help finish the planting on November 1.

“We will be having a tour of the enclosures, planting a few trees and then having a barbecue picnic at the end of the day,” said Ms Wilkie.

“This is a great opportunity for families to be involved in preparing the area for the return of this taonga.”

The day will begin at Motu Village Kiwi Chick Enclosure at 10am.

Volunteers are advised to bring warm clothes, sunscreen and a spade.

Afternoon tea will be provided. All are welcome. Email Robyn@ecoworks.co.nz for more information.