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Pebblelock Permeable Pathways Create a New Habitat

Pebblelock Permeable Pathways Create a New Habitat

Set within the grounds of Christchurch’s Orana Wildlife Park, a new habitat has been created to help rejuvenate the Boulder Copper Butterfly population within the Christchurch region. A native of Canterbury, this butterfly has not been seen around Christchurch for 200 years due to the gradual eradication of its natural habitat, but now, thanks to the dedicated children of Burnside Primary School, the Boulder Copper Butterfly may have a new home. pebblelock pathway orana wildlife parkThe butterflies are small, only 2-3cm long, with Muehlenbeckia axillaris (commonly known as creeping pōhuehue) being the butterfly larvae’s only food source. Having learned a lot after already successfully cultivating three generations of the Boulder Copper Butterfly in a makeshift habitat within their school, the children planted 150 Muehlenbeckia axillaris shrubs within Orana Wildlife Park’s grounds. To help the Wildlife Park’s customers experience this regeneration, a beautiful series of permeable pathways set within the butterflies’ habitat have been created. 

By using PebbleLock as a permeable path solution, Orana Wildlife Park have created a solid platform from which customers can enjoy the new habitat, no matter the weather. Tough and durable, PebbleLock permeable pavers will endure the rigours of having large tourist numbers stopping, twisting, kneeling and turning on the pebbled path. They won’t rut or leave indents that can puddle from heavy foot traffic, meaning little maintenance for staff at Orana Wildlife Park for years to come. pebblelock path orana wildlife park wide viewThey were able to source PebbleLock permeable pavers from Garden Box in Middleton, Christchurch, who also have a wide range of aggregates, decorative stones and other landscaping needs. 

  • Stabilises pebbled pathways 
  • Prevents rutting and puddling 
  • Can withstand heavy foot traffic 
  • Requires little to no maintenance 
  • Is permeable, so pathways remain stable and dry 

Creating a butterfly garden for one of the nation’s endemic butterflies is a New Zealand first. Funded by the WWF-New Zealand Conservation and Education Fund, the project is also run in partnership with The Tindall Foundation. Staff and students at Burnside Primary School worked closely with boulder copper butterfly specialist, Brian Patrick, and entomologist Ruud ‘Bug Man’ Kleinpaste. The aim of the project is to not only increase the size of the population but also raise awareness of the butterflies’ absence from the region through student-led action. orana wildlife park pebblelock pathwayAs well as giving the Boulder Copper Butterfly a permanent home in Christchurch, Burnside Primary School students also hope to work with experts to understand the butterfly’s life cycle, make observations and record their findings. This research will help implement change and conservation of this unique species. They are also working with local iwi to give the butterfly a culturally appropriate Māori name. 

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