This half-day workshop in Cheviot brought together 13.5 farmers, representing eight farming operations, to learn more about the eligibility of their tree-planting or regeneration plans under the One Billion Trees Fund (1 BT).

Dave Janett and Adrian Loo from Forest Management Ltd were our experts on the day. Our farmers came from the Conway, Inland Road, Waiau and Cheviot areas.

We started with a quick review of why everyone wanted to plant and regenerate trees on their farms. There were common themes: diversification, farm succession, land-use optimisation, erosion control, improved water quality, simplifying the farming operation, conservation and optimising carbon returns. While there were differences in approach between farms, underneath there are common threads and the conversation showed how intertwined our farmers’ thinking is.

Adrian did a quick run through the 1BT fund and then Andrew Harris, who farms One Tree Hill on Mendip Road, shared his “why” and the content of his successful 1BT agreement.

Each farm had been asked to do some homework, sending a rough outline of their planting and/or fencing plans through to Adrian, along with any land-use capability mapping results. At the workshop, our farmers were able to talk through their application ideas and the lie of their land and farming operation.

Then Adrian ran through how each farm’s application stacked up against the 1BT eligibility criteria, which was followed by useful discussion of challenges and ideas to get the most from the application.

The key message: mapping is important and expert help will give you the best result from your application. The pictures below show this. The green area is a rough map of plans for tree planting and the purple shows how the eligibility of this area looks different when existing forest cover in gullies was mapped.

PQF is looking at running this workshop again – please register your interest at [email protected]