Stream-side planting – the benefits

0 Comments 09 January 2015

So what are, if any, the benefits of stream-side planting?

Here are three benefits of stream-side planting off the top of my head.

  1. Slows the flow of water
  2. Filters water
  3. Inhibits stream-side erosion

By slowing the flow of water across land and into streams, or lagoons, it gives water a chance to soak into the land before it gets to the stream.

Using good (native) stream-side plants will

  1. inhibit erosion and
  2. provide a place for fish to hide from raging water and
  3. to provide a place for fish to drop their eggs in.


Plants that will meet the above goals but not cut out views for residents.  These are three of my favourites but there are plenty more.  From the left  Carex secta,  Giant umbrella sedge and Oioi.


Carex secta  GiantUmbrellaSedge  Oioi


Photos of stream-sides in the Beach Valley Road Project.  We have been working on this project for some 8ish years now. Notice the green on stream sides – this shows a healthy stream bank where no or little erosion is taking place. Also note in the stream photos what we call ‘ponding’ – another sign of a healthy stream.


BVRStreams01  BVRStreams04  BVRStreams05

BVRStreams06  Pratia01  CarexSecta01

spitdumbyNow let’s look at the stream-sides of the stream feeding the Piha Lagoon – just disgusting –  the responsibility of Local and Regional Parks.  Stream-side planting will not stop pollution from septic tanks but it will reduce dog, bird and livestock poo being washing directly into the stream, slow down storm water carrying septic leakage as well as stopping stream-side erosion and that’s  a great start.

CleanStreams08  CleanStreams09  CleanStreams03

CleanStreams06  CleanStreams04  CleanStreams05


 Some Oioi on the edge of the Lagoon near the Piha Domain.

It spreads easily and does a great job of slowing down and filtering water.


How do I know all  this?   About 8 or 9 years ago, I attended the ‘Nature in your Neighbourhood’ classes, run by Waitakere City Council, at Henderson High School.  Julia and I  had bought our second property  in Piha with streams on both their boundaries and I had no idea how to care for those streams.

Then along came Chris Ferkins, now with Parks West Biodiversity team, and he became my mentor.  From there I have attended conferences around NZ learning as much as I could about healthy streams and waterways. My long association with Piha CoastCare has taught me heaps and gives me others with similar caring about our water quality to exchange ideas with.  I have also read widely.

One of the best books I have read is ‘Caring for our Coast’: An EDS Guide to managing coastal development by Lucy Breake and Raewyn Peart and I strongly recommend this incredible book to anyone who is interested.

IF YOU would like to know more or come and have a look at the Beach Valley Road stream-sides please just contact me . . .   I’m really really happy to oblige.

CaringforourCoastCaring for our Coast by Lucy Brake and Raewyn Peart – An EDS Guide to managing coastal development.

Copies can be ordered at EDS here ISBM 978-099876660-3-1

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