Fifteen years ago, Harts Creek, one of the key tributaries leading into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, was in trouble. The stream was silting up, fish numbers had declined and cattle were grazing right down to the water margin.

Local fisherman Allan Fife was concerned. Back in the late 80s he’d been impressed with the world-class trout he and others had been able to net in Harts Creek and he had sadly watched the slow decline in stream conditions. In search of a solution he met with local farmer Peter Chamberlain, who in turn met with an Environment Canterbury representative.

It was decided to get local landowners together, to demonstrate to them that some of their actions were impacting on the stream and from there, the Harts Creek and Birdling’s Brook Streamcare Group was formed. Peter Chamberlain approached Environment Canterbury, and with support from the Department of Conservation and Selwyn District Council and the thirteen neighbouring landowners, extensive work has been carried out to fence and plant the creek. [Read more…]