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Otago can look forward to seeing a raft of positive environmental activity after the Speight’s Brewery Environment Fund was awarded to five independent conservation groups this month.
The Speight’s Brewery Environment Fund (informally known as ‘The Fund’) is a long-standing monetary pool that is awarded to Dunedin-based environmental groups each year for projects being carried out in the Otago region.
Speight’s provides an annual donation of $25,000 to form the base of The Fund. The remainder comes from donations received for water taken from the Speight’s Brewery spring-water tap, and any money made from the sale of reusable water bottles at the Speight’s Brewery Tour store. This year, over $43,000 was awarded to deserving applicants for conservation work that includes: predator trapping; the planting of native trees and scrubs; creating safe, predator-free breeding sites for seabirds; improving tramping
and mountain bike tracks; and allowing whitebait to become a sustainable food source once again.
Chris Snow, Speight’s Brewery Tour Manager, is thrilled that Speight’s was able to give these varied groups a helping hand for their projects.
“The Speight’s Brewery has been a major part of the Dunedin community for over 135 years, and we really care about the beautiful region we live in,” he says.
“It’s great that there are so many groups doing valuable work for our environment – the calibre of this year’s entries was, as always, very high. I’m really pleased Speight’s is able to help these groups work towards a cleaner, greener, more bio-diverse Otago.”
The $43,000 worth of funding will be awarded at a cheque presentation ceremony at the Speight’s Brewery later this month. Winners of the 2012 Speight’s Brewery Environment Fund: Hawksbury Lagoon This project aims to enhance, protect and conserve the habitats of wildlife and plant life with the environs of the Hawksbury Lagoon. $3871 was granted for clearing exotic weeds, willow, broom, gorse and lupins while preparing the area for planting of native shrubs and trees.
Save the Peninsula (STOP) $9320.50 will be used to enhance the habitat of native protected species in
the Lower Smiths Creek catchment on the Harbour Cone block in Broad Bay.
The project includes the planting of native trees and flax, improving freshwater quality, providing a bird corridor and allowing whitebait to become a sustainable food source in the area once again.
Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Trust $17,866 was awarded to be used for a community trapping project on the peninsula.
Forest and Bird Society Funding was awarded for the Otago Coast Seabird Restoration Project, which
aims to increase the safety and security of seabird breeding sites from introduced predators. Key sites along the coast will be set up with audio attraction equipment to attract birds to sites where a predator proof fence is in place. The $11,500 may benefit birds around St Clair Cliffs, Sandymount, Long Point and Lawyers Head. Green Hut Track Group This group was awarded $497 to improve tracks in the Silver Peaks area for trampers, mountain bikers and the general public.