To identify Significant Natural Areas
This work was carried out for Council by a contract team including Paul Millen (landowner communication), Geoff Walls and Philip Simpson (contract ecologists).
The survey work has been carried out in a partnership with landowners. It is a voluntary process and about 75% of landowners approached chose to participate. In South Marlborough, the Department of Conservation carried out some of the ecological survey work through a separate but related study. Ecological districts were used as the survey units. As of June 2013, a total of 282 landowners have participated and a total of 706 sites have been identified with a combined area of 45,016 hectares.
Those surveyed by Council have received individual property reports summarising the ecological values found, including the identification and description of significant sites and management suggestions to ensure their long term survival. The Department of Conservation produced a separate report summarising all findings from their survey work (Wairau Ecological Region, Survey Report for the Protected Natural Areas programme, Department of Conservation, June 2004). This report is publicly available from the Department of Conservation or Marlborough District Council.
Reports summarising the result of the significant natural areas field survey work have been published for both South Marlborough (2005) and North Marlborough (2009). These reports provide an overview of the Significant Natural Areas Project, including a description of each ecological district, the key findings of the survey work, and the issues and threats to some of the sites which were identified through the survey work. They enable both participating and non-participating landowners to gain a wider ecological context in relation to their own property. They are available from Council or online.