A group of Rotorua golfers from Arikikapakapa Golf Course are swapping drivers and putters for spades and hoes to protect and restore the native vegetation, geothermal lakes and bubbling mud pools that make their course unique.
Rotorua Golf Club is working with Bay of Plenty Regional Council to clear weeds from the course, and have entered into a Biodiversity Management Plan with council, a scheme which empowers landowners and community groups to protect valuable sites of native biodiversity across the region.
Regional council land management officer Eykolina Benny says the course includes a small population of rare prostrate kanuka which only grows in New Zealand’s geothermal areas.
“Controlling the exotic plants will enhance ecological values and get rid of invasive species like bamboo, broom and blackberry to stop them encroaching on the entire site. The ongoing threats on the site come from bird, wind and human-dispersed pest plant infestation,” she said.
The area also has populations of the threatened red-billed gull, along with pukeko, fantails, grey warblers, bellbird, pied stilt, spur-winged plover and silvereye, and allowing the native vegetation to thrive will maintain good habitat for these locals.