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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 6, 31 August 2016

TWO WORKING BEES NEXT MONTH !!

Meet at the Avery Place entrance at 2pm on Saturday 24th Sept 2016 and an extra one to celebrate the start of Conservation Week at 2pm 10th Sept.

---We will have seedlings to plant ( after a health and safety briefing from a Council Officer).

---Some Council equipment and gloves will be available but you may prefer to bring your own gloves and spades.

---Wear sturdy shoes or boots, warm clothes and sunhat.

---If weather is bad, the alternative dates will be Sat 17th Sept and Sat 1st Oct.

---Cake and hot tea will be provided!  Bring your water bottle and a cup for tea.

RECENT WORK

David and Dan Cox have done several stints on clearing blackberry above the footbridge. We had 9 of us planting and clearing on 13th and 11 of us on 27th. We planted altogether 178 seedlings and we still have 191 to go. We hope to get these all planted by the end of Sept. Barbara Bryce supplied a yummy chocolate cake and Pru and Richard have given the seedlings a watering. Well done all and hopefully more volunteers will join in next month.

BNZ “CLOSED FOR GOOD”

We had a team of 5 volunteers from the BNZ (+me) clearing broom, gorse, saltbush and fennel on the east hillside below Ti kouka Eco Lane today (31st) which has made a dramatic change and given us enough cleared ground to plant most of the remaining seedlings. A special thanks to these guys and the BNZ for supplying them and David Cox for organising them.

SCHOOLS

Mt Pleasant School teacher Meagan Kelly and student rep Laughlan Row have responded enthusiastically about being involved in the Reserve and plan to bring a group to our next planting day.  

PLANTS

We will be applying for funds to get regular orders of plants from Trees For Canterbury and hope to also get some of the regular surplus stock they donate for public plantings from time to time.

ANIMAL PESTS

We are awaiting a meeting with a Council pest officer to check over our strategy on-site so we can get underway with monitoring and control.

BIRD COUNTS AND WATER TESTING

We hope to get onto these next month, ie Spring!

PLANT PESTS

We will need to increase eradication efforts as soon as we finish planting because many pest plants are already in flower. We don’t want these to spread seed another year. You can help even while you are out walking by cutting off  flowers as you pass them (broom, gorse, saltbush/boneseed, fennel, hemlock, wild parsnip, oxtongue…for starters!).

KAHIKATEA

One of our ecosystems is the section of flat valley floor below Craigieburn Lane, in which kahikatea would have naturally grown. These are the tallest NZ native conifer trees, growing to a height of 80m in favourable conditions and living for five or more centuries. They have existed for about 160 million years and are sometimes called dinosaur trees. Council planted 8 trees in this area several years ago and they are now quite noticeable. We have just planted a further 3 seedlings. Kahikatea was extensively felled for use as timber and very little now remains. They produce berries eaten by native birds, which were also harvested and eaten by Maori. We have put a named marker by one tree beside the path so you can identify the kahikatea.

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FUTURE WORK DAYS

Please diary these Saturdays 2-4pm :  Sept 10, Sept 24, Oct 29, Nov 26, Dec 17.   If you want to volunteer any time or resources to this long-term community project, contact Dave Bryce 021363498 or email: ecosolutions@xtra.co.nz.