Visitors to the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor might stumble across naturalised pockets of longer grass and plants as the Christchurch City Council undertakes revegetation trials in the Richmond and Bexley areas.

Red Zone Manager Brenden Winder says because they’ve found some areas with high ground water that are trying to restore themselves to natural wetlands, they’re taking a more hands-off approach to the land management to see what happens.

“One of the objectives of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor (OARC) Regeneration Plan is to use the land as a living laboratory, where we can test, experiment and learn about the environment and adapt to our changing climate,” Mr Winder says.

“These are low-use areas that are desperately trying to restore themselves to wetlands, so we’ve decided to let nature do its thing. We’ll monitor and assess the ecological and maintenance benefits of the trial and decide whether to expand it to similar areas of the OARC.”

The revegetation trial began in July and will run until at least December. If successful, the trial could be extended and measures put in place to minimise fire risk over the summer months.