Caring for the environment  |  10 Feb 2021

Native flora and fauna are starting to flourish in a new wetland area in Halswell.

The artificial wetland has been created at Quaifes Road in Halswell to capture and naturally filter stormwater before it flows into Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) via the Halswell River.

It’s one of several new wetland areas that Christchurch City Council has constructed to manage stormwater and improve the quality of water flowing into our rivers.

“These new wetland areas act as storage basins in large rain events and will lessen the risk of our rivers flooding,’’ says Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

“They also bring environmental and recreational benefits. They naturally filter the stormwater before it enters our waterways and provide new habitats for native flora and fauna.

“We’ve planted around 60,000 native plants in the new Quaifes Road wetland and it’s attracting lots of native birds, including a nesting pair of pied stilts. There’s lots of tall grass and a rocky area too, so it is a good habitat for lizards.

“It is a great place to explore and we encourage people to visit and take a walk through the wetland. If you are bringing a dog with you, please keep it on a leash because we don’t want dogs disturbing the nesting birds or chicks.

“The stormwater in the wetland might also contain pollutants and potentially toxic algae so we do advise that people and pets avoid contact with the water,’’ Ms Beaumont says.

“Because this is a working wetland, the grassy areas will grow long at times. There are also no public toilets so please bear that in mind if you are planning a visit.’’