Photo curtesy of José Jáuregui
Lincoln University was gifted Mt Grand in 1988 following a bequest from Leslie John and Lola June Struthers. The freehold proportion is held in the LJ & LJ Struthers Trust established to benefit High Country Farming. Net income is applied to the trust annually.
Teaching and Research
Undergraduate students do not typically visit Mt Grand for teaching but postgraduate students use Mt Grand for their research. Staff at Lincoln University have established a valuable environmental monitoring project at Mt Grand. Six climate stations have been in place for 14 years. Vegetation changes above 1000m have been monitored since 1996 using line transects and exclosure plots. Studies of the distribution and productivity of annual clovers compared with white clover have been conducted on a range of aspects. Studies on sodium levels in herbage and on the practical use of salt to alter sheep grazing behaviour on step faces have taken place.
Vision for Mt Grand
Mount Grand – High Country Eco-agricultural Complex Catalyst
Under the Centre of Excellence initiative: ”Designing Future Productive Landscapes” (CoE DFPL) Mt Grand station is to become a ‘Catalyst Centre of Influence’. There will be renewed focus on practices that improve ecosystem-societal services, embracing Mātauraka Māori to support and sustain te taiao, and ultimately building ecological, economic, health social and cultural wealth.
Researchers and stakeholders will evaluate the “best” design for Mount Grand station as a catalyst for the development of high country farming systems across New Zealand. The aim is to create a design that positions high country stations, like Mt Grand, as producers of the world’s highest quality products (e.g. the highest quality “real” food and natural fibres tightly tied to the land), and experiences (of unique adventure-based experiences set within one of the world’s most stunning landscapes).
Mount Grand will be designed to not just mitigate existing or potential land use impacts, but will actively regenerate the landscape to create a habitat that benefits the livestock and wildlife which live there, as well as the people who co-exist in local communities. Products and services will be traceable to their origin, and a rich storyline built around the landscape’s people and communities.
While Mount Grand will be the central focus of the design, considerations for the design will not be limited to Mt Grand, with regard given to neighbouring properties. This is because some outcomes, such as support for biodiversity, ensuring clean and plentiful water, future pastoralism and recreational experiences (such as tramping over long distances), extend beyond the borders of Mount Grand.
For more information contact Prof. Pablo Gregorini