Cheryl Spain, The Gift Trust’s Executive Director, had an inspiring day out of the office to visit Wairio wetland in the Wairarapa, where we have made a donation on behalf of Mr and Mrs Velvin. The wetland is managed by the charity Ducks Unlimited, who hosted us and Mr and Mrs Velvin, to a tour of the site and to see work being done by students from Victoria University and volunteers from Ducks Unlimited. We spent the day exploring the wetland, learning about the planting being undertaken and looking for bird species that occupy this restored area.
Local legend has it that the Wairio Wetland, located on the eastern shores of Lake Wairarapa, was once a paradise, providing habitat for substantial numbers of waterfowl and aquatic species.
The 132 hectare Wetland was adversely affected by the Lower Wairarapa Valley Development Scheme during the 1960/70s which resulted in large areas bordering the Lake being drained and cleared of forest and sedges.