Castlecliff Coast Care
Location of main site: Castlecliff Coastal Reserve, Seafront Road, Castlecliff Beach, Whanganui
Date started: September 2005
Purpose of group:
- Stabilise the dunes with native plants and enhance the biodiversity of the dunes.
- Develop community ownership of the restoration project, via participation and education.
- Provide voluntary “work” opportunities for those trying to enter, or re-enter employment.
About the group: The Castlecliff Coast Care project has been in operation for 13 years. It is well established, and currently receives regular support from Aranui and Whanganui High School, City College, an IDEA’s community group, plus a number of adult volunteers.
Since recording commenced in March 2009, the Coast Care Group volunteers have contributed 2,288 hours and the wider community 7,572 hours. In addition, for several years a coordinator has been employed to assist and supervise the growing number of regular volunteers.
Financial support has been received from Whanganui District Council (WDC), Horizons Regional Council, WWF and DOC.
In the initial years about 500 native plants were planted in the areas cleared of wattle, box thorn and other weed plants. These plants are now over four metres tall and sheltering more recent plantings. WDC, Parnell Nursery and locals have contributed native plants so that up too 600 plants have been added to the rear dunes each winter. In addition, several groups of Pingao and Spinifex plants have been established on the fore dunes.
Coast Care volunteers contribute to “Sea Week” each year and provide an educational session on Castlecliff’s coastal area to all new groups of helpers.