Farm forestry sign not meeting Council’s standards

September 29, 2023
Back to Posts
Timber — the Clutha District Council is calling for the felling of a new sign promoting farm forestry. A sign stands in a paddock of the sheep, beef and forestry farm of Rob Hewitt in Round Hill, bordering State Highway 8 and the Clutha Gold Trail.

One side of the sign reads “farm foresters climate heroes” and the other side reads “farm forestry cooling the planet”.New Zealand Farm Forestry Association president Neil Cullen, of Waihola, said the sign was owned by the association and was installed last month.

The aim of the sign was to publicise the work of the association, encourage farmers to plant poorer parts of their farm in forestry and promote the positive impact of farm forestry, including carbon sequestration.

“Farmers care about climate change and are making efforts to offset their emissions.” A lot of forestry on-farm was unable to be seen by the public from roads and cycle trails in South Otago. “You can see the big corporates’ forests, but the smaller scale growing is less evident and we wanted to highlight that.”

An example of this was Mr Hewitt’s farm, which included about 180ha of exotic forestry and 50ha of native forest protected by a QEII National Trust covenant. “He has planted the poorer parts of his farm and not reduced his stocking at all. He is doing all the right things.”

Clutha District Council had asked Mr Hewitt to take the sign down, Mr Cullen said. “We are still working through that process with the council; they are saying we need a consent.” The association had “pointed out” other groups had similar signs, such as the Pomahaka Water Care Group.

“Why the council are picking on us, I don’t know.” The association would keep the sign standing until the issue was resolved, he said. If the council gave permission, the association had funding to install more signs, he said.

Source: Otago Daily Times