Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 21, 30 November 2017

Next Working Bees

Tuesday 5th Dec 9am at Avery Place and Saturday 9th Dec 2pm at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout. We will weed and water seedlings.

Working Bees for January 2018 will be Sunday 14th and Saturday 27th, both 2pm Waterfall Lookout.

Day Off!

We will repeat last year's popular event Reserve Ramble (instead of a working bee), with well known ecologist (and volunteer) Colin Meurk, on Saturday 16th December. Meet at the Waterfall Lookout at 2pm with a full water bottle.

Recent Work

We had 2 working bees this month, with 8 of us on Sunday 12th but only 3 of us on Saturday 25th. We weeded and watered seedlings near Avery Place and in the rocky ecosystem. An extra working bee was to be held on 2nd Dec to catch up with watering and weeding, but this got postponed because of expected 30 degree temperatures.

Contractors have done a timely cut of the firebreak, but unfortunately they have made it much wider than last year and damaged more of our seedlings and markers!

Working Bees

Recent low turnouts at working bees might suggest that timing is a problem for many of our volunteers. Please email to me your preferred times to come to monthly working bees and if there are popular choices we will try and accommodate you.


It’s that time of year again! We need to regularly water the new seedlings to ensure their survival until their roots can get deeper next winter. We are hoping to get some water drums and plastic milk bottles set up to supplement the Adopt a Tree scheme, but in the meantime could you please continue to use your own water containers.

Adopt a Tree scheme

Could you please adopt about 6 plants each, tie your own cotton ribbons on their stakes so you can easily find them, try to water them once a week, carefully pull out their stakes and pour water down the stake hole (this will get the water deeper and reduce waste to evaporation), replace the stakes. Most of the needy plants are already staked and some have old ribbons which we will gradually remove.


A group of 24 mixed ages students from Redcliffs School, with teacher Jess Richards and several parent helpers, came to the Reserve during their “Passion Week” on the 16th to share their passion for the environment. I gave them a talk on the Earth, rocks, Banks Peninsula geology, the Environment and  living organisms and a tour to see our plantings, stream,  weed and pest control, insects and birds. We finished at the popular “Bear Cave” and they planted some seedlings themselves. We all had a great time and it was really encouraging to have so many students eager to learn about and look after the environment. Thanks to teacher Kate McClelland for organising the Passion Week and the visit.

Carex secta seedlings

Some Carex secta seedlings planted by Redcliffs School students.

Animal Pests

The tally for the Reserve and adjoining areas for November was 2 possums, 2 rabbits, 2 rats, 1 hedgehog and 1 mouse. With lots of grass seed around now we are expecting an increase in mice, followed by an increase in rats and later maybe mustelids. One request ….could trappers adjoining the Reserve please ring or txt me their results by the end of the month, to save me having to ring around.


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


We now have 119 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.