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Black Oaks takes out GWRC lifestyle award

Black Oaks takes out GWRC lifestyle award

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards evening, held in Carterton earlier this month, recognised and celebrated good practice on the region’s farms.

The Supreme Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Award was won by Wairarapa dairy farmers Leo and Rebecca Vollebregt of Featherston. They will go forward to a national round of the competition.

GWRC also recognises the efforts of the many lifestyle farm and small block owners through the Akura Conservation Centre award. This year it was given to Helen and Dennis Ordish for their Black Oaks property in Masterton. Judges were impressed with the “outstanding thought and planning that has gone into the design of the whole property”.

The five–hectare property was purchased in 2000 and contained little more than four trees and a ‘pot-dam’. The Ordish’s imagination had been fired by the possibilities.

Their energy efficient home was completed in 2004 and designed to blend into the landscape as well as maximise the 300 degree view.

The property now features a habitat for wading birds and extensive ground cover; award judges noted the diversity of tree species and the design of the plantings.

Golden pheasants wandering the grounds add extra interest, as does the possibility of economic return from the oak and hazelnut groves now inoculated for truffles.