Pupils gather, plant seeds

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By Mick Jensen

Wakanui School pupils are doing their bit to help restore and encourage the growth of native plants at their local beach.

Around 21 pupils and their teacher, Amanda Ferguson, who is a member of the Wakanui Beach Biodiversity Group, have collected and planted seeds from plants such as oi oi, shore ribbonwoods and four species of muehlenbeckia.

The seeds were collected from plants at Wakanui Beach, which is an area acknowledged for having examples of both native and rare flora and fauna.

Amanda Ferguson said students had enjoyed collecting the seeds and had seen dolphins during the recent visit, which had included lunch on the beach.

Some seeds had been easier than others to collect and students had collected them in teams.

Bagged seeds had been labelled and then planted by the same people who had collected them, she said.

Students received help with planting from Wakanui Beach Biodiversity Group member Val Clemens and others last week.

Mrs Clemens said the plantings would be passed on to Ashburton domain staff, who would cultivate and look after them until they were ready for relocation.

She said it was hoped that pupils would again be involved in the regeneration project and would help with the relocation of plants to the reserve site at Wakanui Beach over the next 12 to 24 months.

Entomologist, Brian Patrick, who completed a recent invertebrates survey at Wakanui Beach, also addressed the entire school last week, sharing both his enthusiasm and findings with pupils through a power point slide presentation.