The vision of a native forest corridor along the Ōtākaro Avon River will take a big step forward on Saturday as hundreds of volunteers put spades in the ground at Dallington.

Christchurch City Council, with support from Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and Rotary Forests of Peace, Remembrance and Community, is organising a mass planting event on the northern side of the Ōtākaro Avon River, west of Gayhurst Road from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday.

Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge says the community planting day is the first of what’s expected to be several events that will ultimately see an estimated 40,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses placed in the Dallington soil along the Ōtākaro Avon River.

“This is one of the first mass planting events in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area and will start to see the Green Spine – an ecologically restored native corridor that follows the river from the city to the sea – come to life,” Mr Rutledge says.

“This community planting day is to establish part of the Rotary Forests of Peace and Remembrance, and an opportunity to create an incredible asset for generations to come. We encourage young and old to come along and be part of helping increase the biodiversity of the area.”

All tools, team leaders and a free barbecue will be provided on the day. Participants will only need to bring gardening gloves, a water bottle and sturdy footwear.

Christchurch City Council will provide all of the plants from its Harewood nursery.

Access to the planting site will be from the River Rd end of Dallington Terrace, with parking for both cars and bikes catered for.

All participants are required to register through the Conservation Volunteers New Zealand website