Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 17, 31 July 2017

Next Working Bees

Sunday  13th Aug 2pm and Saturday 26th Aug 2pm at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout. We will continue clearing weeds and planting seedlings in the rocky area up towards Avery Place.


There are good reasons for planting native trees. In addition to the commonly acknowledged benefits such as appearance, shade, shelter, soil protection, carbon dioxide absorption and oxygen production, every plant hosts its own community of other organisms on flowers, leaves, branches, trunks, roots and in the soil (other plants, birds, insects, fungi, bacteria etc.). A fully mature kauri is estimated to host more than 10,000 sorts of organisms over its lifetime. Native trees and their communities have evolved over millions of years in New Zealand and it is these, rather than introduced trees which can best increase our native biodiversity. Native flora and fauna are our heritage to enhance, enjoy and care for.


The Redcliffs Community Shed have generously offered to make 20 weta motels for the Reserve and this should be enough to house an initial colony of weta in our forest.

Recent Work

We had 2 working bees this month with 4 of us on Sunday 16th July (postponed from the 9th) and 6 of us on Saturday 29th July, clearing and planting 165 various small leaved shrubs in the rocky area between Avery Place and the Waterfall Lookout. Well done to those hardy souls and good to see even more plant diversity coming back to the Reserve. This area will be a much better habitat for lizards. Thanks to Barb for the delicious muffins.


The gravel has arrived, in the form of piles at the track entrances at Avery Place, Drayton Drive and Craigieburn Lane. I’ve already spread some on muddy sections down from Avery Place and can confirm it is hard work!....but an excellent opportunity for any fit people wanting some “fresh air cross-training” rather than visiting the gym!  We need to spread it asap while the ground is damp so it can bed-in. If you live near these shingle piles, please keep an eye out for people helping themselves! We are still waiting for extra “slot-drains” from Council for us to install so we will leave gaps for them as we spread the shingle. Please ring me if you can help at any time and if you have a sturdy barrow and shovel you can use.


We now have all the 750 seedlings we hoped to get for the year and have already planted almost half of them. Thanks to Neil Griffith and Keep Christchurch Beautiful for their donations towards plants and also to Peter Hansen for several eco-sourced seedlings.

Two of the shrub species we are planting this season were very common on Mt Pleasant, so much so that the name Maori gave to Mt Pleasant is Tauhinukorokio. The scientific names are Ozothamnus leptphyllus (Cottonwood or Cassinia) and Corokia cotoneaster.

It would be good to have a few more people come to our working bees so we can get the rest of the plants in before Spring.

If you would like to donate to our “account” at  Trees For Canterbury (a Social Enterprise and Registered Charity), they can supply us with more seedlings next year. 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:  4 possums, 1 rat and 7 mice. Well done trappers and the low winter count continues.


Work is continuing, but intermittently.


While most volunteers prefer to bring their own tools to working bees, we do usually have extra tools supplied by Council. The number of Council tools can vary as they are used at other sites too. We would like to have some permanent tools for volunteers, so if you have any “surplus but sound” secateurs, loppers, pruning saws, grubbers or small spades, please give me a call. Thanks to Margaret Harrison for responding to our Redcliffs Newsletter item, and donating some suitable tools.


We are hoping to get some extra volunteers in August, to relieve the current workload, firstly from the BNZ under their “Closed for Good” staff volunteering day and secondly, some students from the University of Canterbury Community Engagement Hub.

We now have 93 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.