Stirling Marsh Complex

Description: Stirling Marsh Complex.

Type/Class: Marsh, fen. 2, 102

Size: 11.1 ha.

Altitude: 0 - 20 m above sea level.

Approximate location: 1.5 km North of the intersection of Storer Road and Kaitangata Highway, Stirling.
NZTM (centre point): E1353400 N4874050.

Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.139, Map F39.

Territorial Authority: Clutha District Council.


Interactive map of Stirling Marsh Complex

Recorded Values

Value Description
A4 High degree of wetland naturalness. 2
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Less than 15% of marshes remain in Otago. 2 Located in the Tokomairiro Ecological District where less than 2% of land cover comprises flaxland and freshwater wetlands. 102
A1 - A3, A6 - A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information

  • The Stirling Marsh Complex comprises three wetlands. 102

  • The south-eastern wetland is a marsh containing sparse emergent cabbage trees (Cordyline australis) over a shrubland dominated by Coprosma propinqua with blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.), pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia australis), and a few gorse (Ulex europaeus) shrubs. The margins of the shrubland are covered in rautahi (Carex coriacea) sedgeland. Rautihi, along with Blechnum minus, B. penna-marina, and pasture grasses, extends under the shrubland canopy. The wetland’s eastern margins contain wet pasture of sweet vernal, Yorkshire fog, white clover (Trifolium repens), creeping buttercup, and lotus with patchy rautahi and Juncus spp. Harakeke (Phormium tenax) flaxland is present to the east, over the property boundary. This wetland is grazed by stock. 102

  • The western wetland is a modified fen. Originally level with the surrounding land, the fen subsided after the peat caught fire during a burn-off. The fen contains rushland of Juncus edgariae, an unidentified rush, and a few J. effusus over rautahi, sweet vernal, Yorkshire fog, white clover, browntop (Agrostis capillaris), lotus (Lotus pedunculatus), and creeping buttercup. A few Juncus planifolius, Carex secta, Coprosma propinqua, and gorse are scattered throughout. There is a small shrubland where Coprosma propinqua is dominant. Also present is a harakeke flaxland, with Juncus edgariae and rautahi, and open areas containing sphagnum, sweet vernal, catsear (Hypochaeris radicata), browntop, Juncus articulatus, Celmisia gracilenta, Centella uniflora, Gonocarpus micranthus, Blechnum penna-marina, and small clumps of wire rush (Empodisma minus). A small patch of red tussock (Chionochloa rubra) grassland contains a few flax and Coprosma propinqua over rautahi, Blechnum minus, pasture grasses, lotus, and abundant spearwort (Ranunculus flammula). There is also a small area dominated by Carex secta. This wetland contains some old unmaintained drains and is mostly fenced to exclude stock. 102


Aerial View of Stirling Marsh Complex (March 2006)
Stirling Marsh Complex (October 2009) 51
Stirling Marsh Complex (October 2009) 51


2 Ausseil, A.G., Newsome, P., Johnson, P. (2008) Wetland Mapping in the Otago Region. Landcare Research Contract Report prepared for the Otago Regional Council.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive.

102 Wildland Consultants (2011) Ecological evaluation of seven wetlands in relation to proposed Plan Change 2, Regional Plan water for Otago. Report prepared for Otago Regional Council.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.