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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 27, 31 May 2018

Next Working Bees

Sunday 17th June, 2pm and Saturday 30th June 2pm. Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees. We will be clearing and planting new seedlings.

Working Bees for July will be Sunday 15th and Saturday 28th (2-4pm).

Recent Work

We had three normal working bees this month, with 15 of us on Saturday 5th, 11 of us on Sunday 20th (including 2 children) and 6 of us on Saturday 26th. Our work included weeding, mulching and watering seedlings, clearing for new seedlings and planting another 214 seedlings for the season, bringing the total to 377 (127 below target of 42 per week). We will try and hold some extra planting days to catch up.

Council

The main track was cut early this month, but the tracks to St Remy Lane and to Omeo Cres got missed. The first section of the main track from Glenstrae Rd has been sprayed despite us asking that sprays not be used. We have raised these matters with Council.

All seedlings for this year have arrived from Council although there is some doubt regarding whether all are eco-sourced from the Port Hills. We are keeping doubtful ones aside until this is clarified.

Website

The list of events is updated. We have also added a General section to the Plants page, setting out the significance and importance of native plants and why more revegetation projects like ours are needed in NZ. Thanks to Colin Meurk for editing this and thanks to all volunteers for your impressive efforts on our revegetation project.

Plants

A welcomed addition to our plant diversity is Poataniwha (melicope simplex), widespread throughout NZ but not locally. It grows into a 2-3m shrub with 5cm roundish leathery green leaves, small white flowers and shiny black seeds. We will be planting 30 this year and have put in a name post beside one half way down the Avery track.

A most unwelcome plant, on the other hand, is Veldt Grass. This has come from South Africa and has been quickly invading our locality over the last decade. Gardeners, botanists and ecologists are becoming most concerned at the potential for this plant to spread and smother other seedlings. It is quite tolerant of sun or shade and is continuously in seed and the seeds are easily spread by brushing past the plant. It can be pulled out reasonably easily (and put in your green bin….Council’s composting process should cook the seed), but is usually quite dense and care needs to be taken to pull out the whole rootball and not to spread seed. As you disturb the soil, more seeds will probably germinate, so this time of year is probably best to get it out while seedheads are still maturing. A large patch of this grass has spread into the Rockery area on the Avery track, so take care if you are working in this area to avoid spreading seed.

veldt grass

Veldt Grass

Pests

The tally of Animal Pests eliminated in May was 1 weasel, 2 possums, 3 rats and 4 mice. This is half the May 2017 tally for all pests, except there were no possums last May. Thanks go to Mitre 10 for donating 5 new traps to replace ones which have rusted or broken. They have also donated 2doz stakes we will use for naming plants.

Stream

Our Park Ranger, Karen and I had a site meeting with a Waterways Ecologist from the City Council to check out the potential to improve the water quality and bring living organisms back into the stream. Advice can be provided on streamside planting and channel improvements, but the inflows of clay and silt, which are excessive, appear to require advice from stormwater engineers who have not been forthcoming to date.

Volunteers

We now have 137 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.