The future of the Wyndham Wildlife Reserve was discussed at a field day last week.
The wetland reserve is managed by the Three Rivers Catchment Group.
Group member David Diprose said the field day was held in the evening to allowed people who worked during the day to attend.
“We would love to get the community involved, including the local school,” Mr Diprose said.
Over the past 10 years, the group had been doing a lot of work on the reserve but there was still a lot of work to be done.
“It’s a long process.”
The group would like to get Wyndham School involved with planting and using the reserve as a learning tool.
He encouraged people in the Wyndham community to get involved with the project.
He was pleased with the turnout to the field day and planned to have more events like this one.
The group also planned to take out 80% of the willows that were in the reserve to prevent too much water-level rise, he said.
Speakers from Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Environment Southland and Fish and Game attended to talk about the benefits of wetlands.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ speaker Jim Risk spoke about phosphorus loss through run-off and sediment loss.
Fish and Game’s Zane Moss also discussed phosphorus loss and how having too much phosphorus could harm freshwater systems.
“Too much phosphorus in fresh water promotes algae growth,” Mr Moss said
Mayflies, a source of food for trout, struggle to live in environments with a high amount of algae.
He also discussed the benefits of a reserve like the one in Wyndham for waterfowl.
Environment Southland’s Anastazia Raymond discussed how wetlands were a hive of biodiversity and it was important to support them.
“Southland used to be covered in wetlands but it was turned into farmland.”
“Wetlands are important for biodiversity,” Ms Raymond said.