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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 35, 31 January 2019

Next Working Bees

Sunday 10th February 9am and Saturday 23rd February 9am. Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees. We will be clearing and watering new seedlings.

Working Bees for March will be Sunday 17th and Saturday 30th (9-11am).

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 6 of us on Saturday 12th (shifted from Sunday) and 3 of us on Saturday 26th. There was an extra bee with 5 of us (including 2 children) on Wednesday 12th. Our work included clearing, mulching and watering new seedlings and cutting out big weeds. Thanks to those who have helped and to Barb for biscuits!

Stream

stormwater dissipator

On the 22nd, I joined a group of ECan officers on an inspection of soil and water issues in the Reserve, including soil erosion, sources of silt and silt build-up and stormwater disharges. We now have a better idea of the matters to address in trying to improve the natural flow and quality of water in the stream and in stabilising hill slopes before planting seedlings. The adjoining photo is the stormwater dissipator below Craigieburn Lane, which has eroded soil so much at its outfall that it has collapsed into the gully created and torn away from the inlet pipe. This is the cause of the muddy section of track during winter in the upper part of the valley. ECan will be urgently discussing repair options with the City Council. The upper part of the valley also has significant depth of silt, which has come from land development above over recent years and needs to be stabilised before doing further streamside planting. 

Watering

We have had about 42mm of rain this month (62mm last Jan.) and 146mm evapotranspiration (140mm last Jan.). Moisture loss is therefore 104mm (78mm last Jan.). The situation is now desperate for our seedlings, with high temperatures and little rain. We can’t hope to keep them all alive without more volunteers helping than we have had this month

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 and try to give them about 500ml of water each week. There will be several 3L milk bottles at water tubs, the stream pond above the Waterfall Lookout and where the track meets the stream below the waterfall. Leave your empty bottles at any of these places.

Thanks to all those doing watering and please keep it up, especially as we move into Summer.

Pests

The tally of animal pests eliminated in January was 1 rabbit, 1 hedgehog, 1 rat and 3 mice (well down on January last year). The bait in our rat traps continues to be taken, probably by mice. We have not found any more Asian Paper Wasps and the nest marked out with caution tape seems to have been abandoned (during the cool wet period).

Weeds

Please keep cutting these, especially Boneseed (saltbush), Fennel, Blackberry and Spur Valerian (red, white or pink clustered flowers – put in your Red rubbish bin).

Website

Some updating has been done:

Education - a link to the Mt Pleasant students project “Help Our Native Birds” (with lots of bird photos) and link to my talk to Mt Pleasant students on Drayton Birdlife and Habitats.

Animals - last year’s bird surveys added.

Events - a new Health & Safety Plan has been added and working bee events are updated.

Reports - updated.

Thanks to Chris Bartlett for the updating.

Monitoring

Thanks to Barb for doing the annual panoramic photos from 13 stations again. We may have some “before and after” comparisons for you next month.

Climate Change Challenge

Several members attended the very informative talks and general discussion last night in Redcliffs and will be taking up the challenge to reduce their emissions by 1% each month for the next 11 years. For those who couldn’t make it, the website for the calculators and tips is www.enviro-mark.com. The hope is to get residents in every community throughout the country involved. Use your community name for the “promo” code so Enviro-Mark can provide updates on progress. 

Volunteers

We have 151 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.