A rewilding project in Auckland has been cut short after a contractor accidentally mowed down much of it down.
The Grey Lynn Park no-mow pilot was running for about three months before more than half of the area was mown, Waitematā Local Board’s Parks, Sport and Recreation portfolio holder, Adriana Avendaño Christie, said.
She said the whole area would have been mown if a resident had not stepped in to stop it.
“[The contractor] had someone filling in for the day who did not read the map – he thought he was doing a good job…
“I think more than half of it was cut. If it was not for [the man who initiated the project] it would have all been mown.”
While it was a mistake – the contractor saw long, unkempt grass and thought it needed to be cut – he had been reprimanded, Christie said.
The no-mow project is an effort to improve biodiversity at the park, returning it to wilderness and improving soil quality and providing a richer habitat for birds, bees and other insects.
In addition, the improved ground cover will help with stormwater management.
It is simple – the slopes in the park are not to be mown, so plants can grow.
Christie said she was working to make sure the mistake would not be made again.
“It’s just a matter of education. I think it’s understood that it’s human error”
She and residents who had championed the project were “really upset”, but it would continue.
The grass will be left to grow again, and there’s no end date in sight for the pilot. There are also plans to plant more trees on the slopes to increase vegetation.
“I have had lots of positive feedback [on the pilot],” Christie said.
Before the accidental mow, the grass on the slopes of the park had grown long, with a range of flowers growing through, too.
It was hoped that the project could be extended to other parks and reserves.