Gorse is a nitrogen fixing plant, meaning it extracts nitrogen from the air to help it grow. Research shows this process causes gorse to leach a huge amount of nitrogen into ground water, which then makes its way to the lake. Too much nitrogen in the lake causes algal blooms to grow, damaging the overall quality of water.
Put simply, gorse is a stubborn weed that offers no land productivity or environmental benefits. It’s also hard to eradicate – if left unmanaged after clearing, it will most likely grow back.
With a significant amount of gorse in the Lake Rotorua catchment, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has established a fund to remove all gorse in the catchment.
To help you eradicate mature gorse once and for all, the Gorse Conversion Fund will support the conversion of mature gorse to productive forestry, native bush, or other low nitrogen leaching activities. Funding covers initial gorse control, site preparation, fencing, planting, and weed and pest control up to $4,500 per hectare. It can also fund up to $2,000 for independent advice, so you can be sure you’re making the right decision for your property before signing any agreements.
Keen to learn more? Please phone your local Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Officer on 07 921 3377.