Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 16, 30 June 2017

Next Working Bees

Sunday 9th July 2pm and Saturday 29th July 2pm at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout. We will continue clearing weeds and planting seedlings.

tree weta

A Tree Weta - just visiting Drayton Reserve, but soon to become resident again.


Mike Bowie, an entomologist from Lincoln University came to the Reserve on Friday the 16th  and gave a group of us including about 8 kids from Mt Pleasant School a very informative talk about insects in the Reserve. He showed us display boxes of native butterflies and also a long tailed bat, but the climax was the above live weta (which the kids called “Bob”).  He also brought a tree weta motel for us to copy…we will need to make and erect on tree trunks about 20 of them to safely house our future new colony in the Reserve. We checked out the “insect logs” scattered throughout the Reserve and found several inhabitants already.

Recent Work

We had 2 working bees this month with 7 of us on Sunday 11th June (postponed from the 3rd) and 10 of us on Saturday 24th June, clearing and planting NZ myrtle, coprosmas and ribbon wood just down the main track from the waterfall. Well done everyone for yet more significant progress on transforming the Reserve and thanks to Barb for the delicious muffins.


With regular rainfall and little drying, our tracks continue to be muddy and slippery. We have done some further drainage channels, but foot traffic is keeping parts very muddy and we hope no bikers attempt to use our tracks because of the extra damage they cause. We will be getting extra “slot-drains” from Council for us to install and we are still waiting for gravel supplies from Council.


We have completed all the procedures and the 300 seedlings we applied for from the Regional have been approved and should arrive for our next working bee. Thanks to Di Cowan who has donated 32 eco-sourced plants including tree fuschia, whiteywood, teucridium and coprosma wallii, which have now been planted. Also thanks to Colin Meurk who has donated 4 rare  pittosporum obcordata, which have also been planted. We are hoping for still more seedlings from Council so we can plant about 700 this year.

If you would like to donate to our “account” at  Trees For Canterbury (a Social Enterprise and Registered Charity) so they can supply us with seedlings, please email or call Steve for details at  info@treesforcanterbury.org.nz. Or ph: 982 1028.

Animal Pests

The tally for the Reserve and adjoining areas for July was: 1 weasel, 2 possums, 2 rats and 6 mice. Well done trappers and Edmond’s cat (for the weasel)! This drop in numbers might be normal for winter with less food supply.


Thanks to Chris Bartlett for getting a website underway and I’ve paid for the first year’s hosting etc. We won’t give you the name yet because we are still working on the set-out and content, but we aim to add all the data we have been accumulating so anyone can access it at any time.


We now have 92 supporters on our email list and look forward to having more volunteers join us for a chat and helping hand on our future working bees. You are sure to find it very satisfying planting and caring for native trees and wildlife and restoring the Reserve to its former glory, especially for the local community.   

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.