Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 36, 28 February 2019

Next Working Bees

Saturday 2nd March 9am and Sunday 17th March 9am. Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees. We will be clearing and watering new seedlings. Note: 2pm starts in Autumn & Winter (except 2nd March…already notified wrongly!).

Working Bees for April will be Sunday 14th and Saturday 27th, (2-4pm).

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 14 of us on Sunday 10th(including 5 children) and 7 of us on Saturday 23rd. There were 5 extra watering bees with 9 of us on Saturday 2nd, 7(incl 2 children) on Wednesday 6th and 7 of us over another 3 days.   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!


Our annual panoramic photos now show 2 years of growth, illustrated in the photos below (we will try and get closer to the same view points next year!)

tree growth dec 2018Tree growth December 2018

tree growth dec 2016Tree growth December 2016


We have had only 10mm of rain this month (100mm last Feb!) and 142mm evapotranspiration (113mm last Feb.). Moisture loss is therefore 132mm (29mm last Feb.). The situation is desperate for our seedlings, with high temperatures, little rain and little prospect of rain soon. 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.

Many thanks to Richard and Prue for allowing us to use their water connection for filling the blue bins.


The tally of animal pests eliminated in February was 2 hedgehogs, 4 rats and 6 mice (an increase on February last year, possibly reflecting more food available). We have seen more Asian Paper Wasps but not come across more nests yet.


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


Council contractors have cut the tracks and firebreaks this month and thankfully have taken on board our concerns, resulting in very little damage to seedlings. We hope future work will be to the same standards.


We have ordered seedlings for this year, but have reduced the numbers from 1,000 to 600 so that we can also keep up with looking after earlier plantings and minimise losses.

Climate Change Challenge

Several members have taken up the challenge to reduce their emissions by 1% each month for the next 11 years and the Challenge is being circulated throughout the country via personal contacts and residents and ratepayers organisations (a “grass-roots” strategy). The current weather conditions are certainly extreme and probably a consequence of climate change in our region. For those who want to join in, the website for the calculators and tips is www.enviro-mark.com. The two very informative “power-point” presentations from the Redcliffs Residents public meeting are attached to the covering email.


We have 154 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.