When Karen Morrison isn’t busy running the family's 84-hectare dairy farm in Linkwater, you can find her rallying her neighbours and others in her area to take part in the Linkwater catchment group.
In Linkwater, adjoining neighbours have released dung beetles together, fences are going up, native plants are going in, and (a first in the catchment) neighbours are banding together to monitor water across the entire sub-catchment.
All up, about 30 sites in Linkwater have taken part in the monitoring. The first samples were taken in December 2021, with the second set of samples in June 2023.
“Water monitoring is showing an improvement over last time. We still have a way to go, but it’s moving toward improvement,” says Karen.
While Karen is done with fencing on her family's property, she’s excited to see many of her neighbours progressing along with their goals for their farms. For now, she’s focused on chipping away at her native planting whenever she can. In total, she’s planted nearly 5,000 plants over about four big pushes, with more on the way after more willow removal.
What benefits have been seen so far in Linkwater?
- Birdsong and native birds that were rarely seen are now making their way back consistently to the area, such as karearea, or the New Zealand falcon.
- Monitoring is showing improving freshwater in the sub catchment.
- Continued learnings from neighbours sharing information with one another.
- With dung beetles taking a few years to establish, evidence of them have been seen, but will take a couple of more years to see real benefits.
Catchment Coordinator, Linkwater
Above: The Linkwater community in the first community workshops; catchment condition surveys; forming their own catchment group; dung beetle releases; planting supported by the Project; and a native seed workshop.
Below: The catchment group held an event at the Memorial Hall to share information, and bring in a guest speaker to talk about native freshwater fish living in their waterways.