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Green fingers . . . Maheno School pupil Hamish Stanger (6) plants a tree at the Waianakarua River last week. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Rural school pupils did their bit for the environment last week.

Children from Hampden, Maheno and Kakanui Schools flocked to the south branch of the Waianakarua River to take part in a mass tree-planting event.

Pupils who attended planted a variety of trees, including kowhai, as part of a project that followed a successful application to the Waitaki biodiversity fund.

Waitaki District Council biodiversity co-ordinator Max Crowe was pleased to see crowds of little helpers taking part on the day.

“I’ve had some wonderful feedback from these kids that they had a really good time,” he said.

Members of the Herbert Heritage group were also involved in the project.

The Waitaki Biodiversity Fund was established to support landowners who are taking practical steps to protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity in the district.

For more than 30 years, the land had been home to large plantations of pine trees.

Property owner Greg Nelson was also pleased with the children’s efforts.

“It’s good everyone’s involved, and they get to come back when they’re a bit older and see the result.”

Mr Crowe believed true satisfaction for the children would come if they revisited the spot later in life.

“There’s public access up this river, so it’s feasible that these kids can come back and go for a swim sometime– that gives me a buzz,” he said.