Lees Valley Station, North Canterbury,
South Island, New Zealand
~ 67,000 Acres
~ 3,500,000 Stock Day Units
~ 13 Employees
Grasslands took over the management of Lees Valley Station in September of 2013. This property is situated in the dramatic, ecologically and topographically diverse basin of Lees Valley, just inland from the Canterbury Plains on New Zealand's South Island. It includes most of the water catchments of the the Ashley, Whistler, Lillburn, and Townshend Rivers. The valley floor, lying at an elevation of about 1500 feet, takes in about 15,000 flat acres, and is dominated by large areas of both improved pastures (perennial ryegrass, cocksfoot, white clover, lucerne, plantain, and chicory) and one of New Zealand's largest and last remaining expanses of flat, uncultivated native grassland. The flats transition abrubtly into moderately steep hill country (with both native and introduced grasses, as well as many native shrubs, including manuka and matagouri). The hill country eventually merges into extreme scree and beech forest covered slopes which top out on 6000+ foot high country ridges, dominated by thriving snow tussock communities.
Due to its diverse geography and forage base, Lees Valley Station is home to a range of livestock enterprises. These include a sheep herd numbering close to 55,000, ~12,000 ewes plus replacement hoggets, ~1,000 beef cows plus replacements, ~1,000 beef yearlings, ~500 venison hinds, ~3,500 year-round equivalent growing cattle stock, comprising R1 and R2 bulls and R1 and R2 dairy heifers.
Our crew consists of a mix of skilled high country Kiwi shepherds, with their amazing Huntaways and Border Collies, and a handful of imported American cowboys, complete with hats and chaps, who handle most of the beef and dairy cattle work.