For several consecutive years now Horowhenua District Council has contributed plants and labour, together with Waikawa Beach community members, to plant spinifex and pīngao in an area by the north track of Reay Mackay Grove. Take a look at this photo of empty sand from back in January 2014.
Now Stephen Betts has created a series of comparison photos to show both the growth of the spinifex and of the dunes around the new plantings.
Where marram grass creates high and unstable dunes, the native spinifex builds extensive low dunes.
In 2020 Horowhenua District Council also applied fertiliser during planting, which seems to have paid off. Many thanks Stephen for the following photos and write-up.
Sometimes it looks like the dunes remain unchanged then you realise that many of the poles put in place in 2018 are nearly covered with sand, and some of the signs are buried.
Here are couple of pictures of the dunes on Reay Mackay Grove north end. Taken a little over 2 years and 4 months apart.
The first one is taken the week or weekend of the initial planting in 2018, the second was taken in March 2021.
I tried to frame them with a similar perspective.
The area around by the “Beach is a Road” sign has also started to fill in with the plantings from 2019.
The ground level has risen over the spring of this year. Here are two pictures that show the rise of the dunes.
Here is another picture of the path , a reprise of the photo from January 2014.
You can just see the top of the right most pole in your frame, hidden in the shadow behind the new fence line.
And finally the buried dune sign I moved some years ago, I tried to dig it out once, but the sand was too soft and dry and it kept filling in
Slightly misleading, but you can see the old fence behind the new fence still exposed on the right of the final picture.
Word is, there will be more spinifex and pīngao available to plant later in 2021.