​​​​​​​​Extensive gully systems exist within Hamilton city. These gullies add another dimension to the cityscape, providing green space for recreation, visual relief from the urban environment, and habitats for a wide range of wildlife. They are also a vital part of the city's walkway and drainage systems.

Over the years as the built up environment expanded, the gully's natural features became degraded and a large proportion of their native flora and fauna was lost. In 1987 they gained some protection under the Hamilton City Environmental Protection Overlay.  

Quick guides to the biodiversity within Hamilton City include:

Gully Restoration Programme

The aim of the Gully Restoration Programme is to assist Hamilton residents with gully sections to bring them back to their former glory.

The programme hopes to raise awareness and appreciation of Hamilton's gully systems, and enable the physical restoration of this resource. 

Hamilton is also the home of the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park. The park is being developed to reconstruct native lowland and wetland ecosystems that were once widespread in the Waikato region. The 60ha Natural Heritage Park is located on the north-west outskirts of Hamilton and includes Horseshoe Lake which is a peat lake surrounded by introduced willow trees. Restoration plantings on the formerly grazed pasture are being staged in planting zone, focusing on the lake margin initially and progressively expanding onto the adjacent hill slopes.

Hamilton City Council works with groups such as the Waikato Biodiversity Forum, Eco-Sourced Waikato and Weedbusters to raise awareness of biodiversity and the importance of restoring ecosystems in the city.  

For more information see the Gully Restoration Programme website.

Protecting our Gullies

The Gully Restoration Guide is a free tool to assist private gully owners in the restoration process.

It shows people the key stages in a restoration project and offers advice on where to start, the basic skills and techniques of restoration and the key information that is crucial to a successful project.

If you require a hard copy of the Guide please contact the Parks and Open Spaces team.  

Waikato Biodiversity Forum

Vision: Waikato - a place for our living taonga - where the community values and works collaboratively to protect, enhance and restore indigenous biodiversity. 

The Waikato Biodiversity Forum was established in May 2002 and provides a primary link between research and management agencies, iwi groups, private landowners, communities who are interested in enhancing native biodiversity in the Waikato Region.

The Forum is a non-statutory multi-lateral body that shares a common philosophy that no one agency, sector or element of society has all the answers to the biodiversity issues that now confront us both nationally and in the region.

Eco-sourced Waikato

Eco-sourcing is the propagation of native plants from a representative sample of the local wild population. 

Eco-sourcing is important because plants disperse their pollen and seeds into natural areas and eco-sourced plants will reinforce rather than distort the local gene pool. 

Eco-sourced Waikato comprises representatives from Hamilton City Council, Department of Conservation, Environment Waikato, Waikato District Council, University of Waikato, Waikato Tree Trust, local nurseries and restoration experts. 

The group has taken on the task of encouraging the supply of eco-sourced plants to meet demand, establishing new seed sources and undertaking an education program about the local flora and the importance of ecological restoration. 

For more information on eco-sourced plants see the Gully Restoration Programme website.

Page reviewed: 17 Nov 2020 1:28pm