About the Area
Pearl Creek is regionally significant in providing wetland and stream habitat for the nationally at risk kokopu, long fin eel and inanga.This small complex also provides important habitat for kotuku and bittern, both nationally threatenend, fernbird, marsh crake, spotless crake and banded rail, all nationally at risk.
Nelson's first transport service was a ferry run by surveyor John Cotterell from Nelson through the Waimea Estuary to this point. Taking the ferry was a popular option for settlers as it meant people could avoid negotiating the extensive swampland between Waimea Inlet and Nelson. "Pearl" was the name of a barque that used the creek to deliver all sorts of goods in later years.
Aim of the Project:
Riparian rehabilitation was initiated by landowners in the 1980s and was assigned regional importance by the Dept. of Conservation due to the presence of threatened species. In 1994, a QE2 covenant was put in place. Restoration work including fencing, willow tree removal, general weed control and native planting was a major activity between 2002 and 2009. The most recent plantings at the southern end of the creek took place in 2010. Funding for past restoration work has been provided through grants from Canterbury Community Trust, the DOC Bio-Diversity Condition Fund and some private contributions organised through the Tasman Environmental Trust.
Partners in the restoration project have included landowners, Tasman Environmental Trust, Fish and Game, Tasman Environmental Trust, Fish and Game, Tasman District Council, Dept of Conservation, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Appleby School. Willie Cook and Dan.... have played a very important role in trapping stoats in the area which has significantly increased the native bird life.
Pearl Creeks' ongoing restoration work is now see as a cornerstone of good restoration projects in the wider Waimea River Park Project and Waimea Inlet conservation programmes. Restoration plantings are in various stages of maturity. The oldest has kowhai, kohuhu, kanuka and ribbon wood trees at about 6 metres in height with good canopy coverage and ground weed/rank grass suppression Wetter areas have strong establishment of harakeke and Carex species. Kahikatea are reaching 3 to 4 metres. The latest planting on very fertile soil has excellent growth rates for the primary planting species. In spring 2013, more secondary-alluvial forest trees, kahikatea, matai and totara were planted. Other rarer plants are also being introduced in the shaded understory.Lophomyrtus, Melicytus. Weed control of willow,blackberry, some gorse and scattered old mans beard is ongoing. we need to consolidate a small group to do occasional weed and releasing work. Future planting could be possible on the seaward side of the cycleway and stopbank.