Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 20, 31 October 2017

Next Working Bees

Sunday 12th Nov 2pm and Saturday 25th Nov 2pm at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout. We will weed and water seedlings and start clearing broom, saltbush, fennel, etc. in the next planting areas.

Day Off!

We will repeat the popular event we had last year, by having another “Reserve Ramble”( instead of a working bee), with  well known ecologist (and volunteer) Colin Meurk, on Saturday 16th December (more details later).


As you may have already seen or heard in the news, the World Meteorological Organisation has just measured a record high increase in atmospheric CO2 from 400 to 403.3 ppm in 2016. This is despite hopes that emissions would be levelling off that year. They said this level is higher than it has been for 800,000 years – longer than homo sapiens has existed and when global temperatures were 2-3 degreesC warmer and sea levels were at least 10m higher!  Clearly more urgency needs to be given by governments, organisations, businesses and individuals to modifying decisions and activities to reduce CO2 emissions.

Drayton Reserve is an example of a beneficial development for the climate(as well as other things), since the trees we are planting will be absorbing  CO2 so it does not go into the atmosphere. More community projects like this, planting permanent trees, could be done throughout this City and other towns and cities throughout the world.

Bird Count


We did our 6 monthly bird count on Friday 20th, thanks to our expert Di Cowan. No, this local NZ Falcon was not included, although it’s sometimes seen in the Reserve. Thanks to Ian Forne for the great photo.

In summary, we recorded 56 natives (2 fantails, 7 grey warblers, 41 silver eyes, 4 swallows and 2 black backed gulls), and 62 introduced (8 blackbirds, 2 quails, 14 chaffinches, 3 dunnocks, 5 goldfinches, 4 greenfinches, 4 sparrows, 5 thrushes and 17 starlings). The proportion of natives was 47% which is up 14% on the 33% recorded 12 months ago. It would be nice to think our trapping is reaping benefits, but the numbers of introduced birds recorded was lower than last year. We will need a few more surveys to determine whether there is a trend.

Recent Work

We had 2 working bees this month, with 12 of us (including 4 school kids) on Sunday 15th and 5 of us on Saturday 28th (there were lots of other events locally that day). We weeded in the rocky ecosystem and elsewhere alongside the tracks including staking and flaging prior to the contractors cutting the tracks (it worked!...no plant losses this time). Jeff installed some more slot drains in the muddy tack sections and we planted some extra seedlings as well. The tracks have had their October cut and are much easier to negotiate now, as well as being mud free now too.

We had our first bad injury during the last working bee, when Debbie fell onto an old broom stump in the long grass resulting in painful bruising of her ribs. She gallantly walked home and will be recovering for the next couple of weeks. We wish her well and look forward to her return.


We have received another 60 seedlings from Council and have also obtained another 60 seedlings with a donation from Mt Pleasant School from parents of the students who came to our education event (featured in the September Report). Many thanks for that and thanks to Meagan for all her organising. That will bring the plantings this year up to 920. Lets aim for 1,000 next year!! 


We now have Redcliffs School on board as well as Mt Pleasant School. Kate McClelland (of the former) and Meagan Kelly (of the latter) and I have been exchanging data and have had a meeting to discuss ways of bringing the Reserve into their study programmes.

Animal Pests

The tally for the Reserve and adjoining areas for October was 3 rats. Yet another low month, but we are still trying so that we can keep the pest level low.


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


We now have 113 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.