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Weed work . . . The Dobson and Hopkins valleys, which neighbour the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, will receive weed control work. PHOTO: ECAN/SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

Pesky weeds in the Upper Waitaki are set to be the target of weed control work, following a $73,000 grant of Immediate Steps funding.

The funding, which will be spread over three years, was approved by Environment Canterbury’s Upper Waitaki Zone Water Committee.

It came about following a weed survey carried out in February, which recommended immediate, large-scale action be taken against 10 invasive weed species.

ECan biodiversity officer Rob Carson-Iles said it was great to get the project off the ground now funding had been confirmed.

This meant the Department of Conservation (Doc), Land Information New Zealand (Linz), and the Glen Lyon Station would also commit to supporting the project.

Mr Carson-Iles said the collaboration between landowners, the zone committee and other groups had made the “significant” project a possibility.

“That’s what the Immediate Steps programme is about, teamwork to get important projects such as this one under way.”

The biggest issue for the weed controllers is crack willow and Russell lupin, particularly as crack willow colonises wetlands and braided rivers, dominating the existing native vegetation in the area.

Other targeted species include buddleia, alder, elderberry, cotoneaster, gooseberry, flowering currant, raspberry and hops.

Once the three-year project has ended, the weeds in the two valleys will be resurveyed to see if further control is needed.