Thirty years of environmental work by Helen and Peter Gilder on a Pāmu farm in South Otago has been acknowledged.
The Gilders recently retired as farm managers, most of that time at Pāmu’s Waitepeka Farm near Balclutha, where they had embarked on a long-term project to enhance the landscape and develop wetlands.
At a function last week, a wetland they helped create on Waitepeka Farm was named in their honour.
In 1990 the Gilders began working for what was then Landcorp at the Dawson Downs property but after eight years, shifted to Waitepeka.
They set about converting it to three separate integrated farms: two dairy units and a dry stock unit running deer, sheep and cattle.
It had very few trees, unfenced ditches and little landscaping, but the subsequent purchase of a neighbouring property included waterlogged areas that the Gilders set about turning into wetlands.
Their vision was to include the community, local schoolchildren, Telford Southern Institute of Technology students and businesses to develop a place for the public and tourists passing on the adjacent scenic route to the Catlins region.
Subsequent farm managers have continued planting and restoring the farms, with schools helping plant a section of the adjacent Glenomaru stream.