The forward thinking of Southland members from the 1940s who bought land and planted a forest at Castledowns near Dipton is finally reaping financial rewards – and accolades.
The Rural Women New Zealand Forest Committee Southland Inc was recently named as the winner of this year’s NZ Landcare Trust Award for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Forestry.
And after many years of poor economic returns the 2010 harvest saw a welcome financial turnaround, producing a $328,000 revenue cheque. The logging profits are shared amongst the four Southland Provincials to distribute for charitable purposes in Southland, meaning the benefits flow back into the community.
In presenting the award, Ian Jackson, President of the NZ Farm Forestry Association, said “This project has influenced many generations to plant trees on their own farms, and as such made a huge contribution to education and sustainable land management in Southland.”
Photo: Ann Irving, Patsy Gordon and Rhonda Riddle at the award-winning Castledowns forest
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