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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 19, 30 September 2017

Next Working Bees

Sunday 15th Oct 2pm and Saturday 28th Oct 2pm at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout. We will weed and water seedlings and start clearing broom, saltbush, fennel, etc., in the next planting areas.

Education

drayton reserve education

Our first education event, last Thursday, was a great success! It was little short of an "invasion", as about 90 people from Mt Pleasant Primary School had their picnic lunch on Steve Deane's lawn! I gave them a welcome and introduction and they proceeded down Drayton Track in platoons of 5 or so with parents and teachers, organised and led by their teacher (and our volunteer!) Meagan Kelly, at about 6 minute intervals. We had 6 stations for them to visit and we talked and showed them many different trees, an abandoned quail nest (with three eggs), the "Bear Cave" (most popular!), the stream, huhu grubs, a ground weta, a trapdoor spider tunnel, a carabid beetle, a common skink and our Rocky Ecosystem, a tree weta motel, a rat trap, a possum trap and lots of weeds and how to deal with them. It was a marvellous team effort and thanks to all involved, especially Meagan, Barb and our Park Ranger Karen for doing three of the stations.

Weta Motels

weta motel

Thanks to Lance of the Redcliffs Community Shed we now have 20 weta motels. The photo shows the hollowed out “room” under the inspection cover. The weta “door” is a hole in the bottom of the room. One or two wetas will sleep in each of these during the day safe from rat, mice and possum predators and eat leaves in the trees at night. We will set up some in the Reserve initially to see if there are any existing weta there already and if not, we will have to trap some in another local native forest area and reintroduce them to the Reserve.

Recent Work

We had two working bees this month with 5 of us on Sunday 17th finishing planting for the year and 10 of us (including 4 school kids) on Saturday 30th clearing, staking and watering seedlings in and near the Rocky Ecosystem between Avery Place and the Waterfall Lookout. Thanks to Barb for the delicious muffins which have been fueling us!

Tracks

The Council have now put up “Track Closed Until Further Notice” signs  for the muddy section below Craigieburn Lane. When the track dries out enough, we will spread the  last heap of shingle and the track will be reopened. Please don’t follow side tracks amongst seedlings we have planted near the track (you will compact the soil and may trample small seedlings). We are still waiting for extra “slot-drains” from Council which we will install to avoid the track getting so wet in future. Contractors should be clearing the tracks and fire-breaks during October.

Animal Pests

The tally for the Reserve and adjoining areas for August was: 2 rats and 2 mice. Yet another low month, but we are still trying so that we can keep the pest level low.

Website

There has still been no progress and we need help to load data. If anyone can help, please contact me.

Volunteers

We now have 108 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.