The Wairau Plains has lost 99 percent of its wetlands, but determined conservationists are protecting what’s left.

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If you’re travelling on State Highway 1 between Picton and Blenheim, you’ll see skeletons of dead willows standing stark in a swamp area.

The precious Para Wetland is currently the subject of a major restoration project by Fish and Game to remove the willows and restore native habitat.

Similar work is being done at Grovetown Lagoon, where the willows have been destroyed and both plant and wildlife are beginning to flourish. Walkways are being developed around the lagoon, so everyone can see what Marlborough once looked like.

The stunning, award winning Wither Hills Rarangi Wetland is another inspirational project, through which the wine company’s vines make way for the wetland.

The Wairau Lagoons are another remnant of Marlborough’s precious wetland ecology - explore by foot or by kayak.