Jobs for Nature

In mid-2021 the Fiordland Trails Trust was granted $973,000 in funding through the Department of Conservation’s Jobs for Nature programme. This is allowing some amazing work to be undertaken, benefitting both conservation and recreation. 

The project

The funding has enabled a three-year project, to enable the enhancement and extension of the trail network in Fiordland, a significant and positive programme of weed and predator control and native plantings throughout the area, and will create employment in Fiordland.

It’s an exciting time which will lead to significant conservation gains, and the Trust is proud to be involved with a project that will lead to long-term and important benefits. 

The project includes five sub-projects:

Noxious weed control (gorse and broom)
A weed control programme alongside the trail corridor. This will include the existing Lake2Lake trail, and the new trail which is under construction.

Planting enhancement
Selected native species will be planted on the Lake2Lake trail corridor, to assist with erosion control, improve the visual amenity, and foster native wildlife.

On the Lower Upukerora River delta
Exotic plants will be cleared and replaced with native plant species, which will be maintained on an ongoing basis.

A predator control programme across 345ha will take place in the area to protect rare, braided river bird nesting areas of the delta and riverbed. Restoration of the Patience Bay wetland will also be undertaken, and habitation will be improved for braided river birds by removing weeds from the riverbed.

Interpretative panels
Interpretative panels will be developed in consultation with iwi and will be placed along the trail network.

Sub-project: trail bridge
Construction of a trail bridge across the Upukerora River is within the project but is managed and funded by Waka Kotahi. This was completed in July 2021.

Trail extension
Extension of the existing trail will take place, with part-funding towards legs one and two of the Te Anau to Te Anau Downs trail. With trail completed to Patience Bay beach, we now look to extend to Sinclair Road.