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Many pieces of forest now being preserved by local conservation groups are too small to sustain viable populations of native birds and insects on their own. Recognition of this problem led Forest & Bird Branches in the Hutt Valley to come up with the novel concept of eco-corridors to link these pieces of forest and enhance the spread of native birds, insects and plants.

To progress the idea, a small group lead by Russell Bell is now working on a plan to create areas of land that link pieces of bush across the Wellington Region.

A recent meeting arranged with Russell to discuss how the concept might work on the Kapiti Coast soon lead us to the conclusion that much could be done here, particularly as his map showed that some partial corridors already exist. What we would need is to complete these connections and create further corridors linking other areas.

Our hope is that the KCDC, who seem receptive to the idea, will sign on to this initiative and will set aside suitable pieces of land in new subdivisions that will enable, the existing reserves and bush areas to be connected over time. Steep gullies, river banks and wetlands would be obvious choices, but most types of set aside land could be developed if necessary.

The proximity of such corridors to existing or new developments will also enhance the urban environment with their native trees and bird life, and help educate people about the need for conservation.

Kapiti-Mana Branch committee have therefore decided to pursue a policy of developing such corridors as opportunities arise.

Porrirua-Wellington-Lower Hutt Eco Corridor

A proposed bush corridor which would link forest remnants in Takapu (Wellington), Porirua (Maara Roa) and Korokoro (Lower Hutt) is being studied by a joint steering group from Wellington Branch and the Friends of Maara Roa. This potential key eco-system is now all in public ownership - Greater Wellington's Belmont Regional Park - all it needs is a "push" from the people who understand why, and want to make it happen. More

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