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Biodegradable matting saves money and the environment

Natone planting 2

Phomozah Tanuvasa, left, and Isabella Cardona Correa, from Natone Park School, at the recent Bothamley Park planting where the distinctive coir sleeves were used.

Rabbits and hares have got no chance against the new biodegradable matting sleeves being placed around young plants by the Council.

The sleeves, sourced from Christchurch company Advance Landscape Systems and called NaturGuard, are made from coir, the fibre from the outer husk of coconuts.

Joe Clarkson, Manager of the Council’s nursery, says this is “the next evolution” and using them for planting around the city made sense on more than one level.

“First, they’re cheaper than using plastic sleeves and they’re very hardy – hares and rabbits can’t get into them,” he says.

“Then, you think about the environmental value of them, because these can’t blow into our streams and harbour. After a while, when the plants have already got big enough, the sleeves just rot away.

“That sold it for me.”

As far as he knows, Porirua are among the early adopters of this new innovation, which Mr Clarkson says shows off the city’s dedication to looking at new ideas, making savings for ratepayers, and having a responsibility to look after the environment.

Last week, more than 600 trees were planted, using the coir sleeves, at Bothamley Park in a collaboration between Porirua and Greater Wellington councils, and Sustainable Coastlines.

The planting, part of the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour Collaborative Project, helps stabilise the stream bank to reduce erosion and prevent siltation of our harbour.

Mr Clarkson says it was a fantastic opportunity to give the dozens of children an opportunity to make an environmental difference in their neighbourhood.

14 Aug 2019