Greening Waipara

Programme Leader(s): 

We are using the latest ecosystem services research to enhance the contribution of nature’s services to vineyards.

Greening Waipara is a research-driven project aimed at measuring and enhancing ecosystem services in the Waipara Valley wine-growing region in North Canterbury, New Zealand. It is focussed on finding ways to reduce chemicals by increasing functional biodiversity in vineyards.

Ecosystem services science

Centre researchers have measured the value and contribution of native plants to biological control of pests and fertile soils in vineyards. Specific research projects, for example, have looked at chemical qualities of plant nectars, improving biocontrol of insects and reducing grape disease using organic mulches.

Benefits of Greening Waipara

Prof Steve Wratten’s research team have worked with local community and landowners to plant native species under and between vines, as shelterbelts, entranceways, vineyard borders and stream edges. Also, they have created swales and wetlands that use native plants to filter contaminated stormwater and vineyard effluent.

The native plantings in the Greening Waipara project have been shown to enhance:

  • biological control of pests and diseases (reducing fungicide and insecticide use)
  • weed suppression
  • biodiversity
  • soil fertility
  • eco-tourism and conservation.

Building biodiversity

To date, 50 North Canterbury vineyards are involved in Greening Waipara, and five of these vineyards have created biodiversity trails. These trails encourage people to visit the region and provide information about the project for adults and children. Other trails in local schools were sponsored by Four Leaf a Japanese food company.

Read the latest Greening Waipara newsletter.