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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 38, 30 April 2019

Next Working Bees

Sunday 12th May 2pm and Saturday 25th May 2pm .... Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees … we will be clearing and watering existing seedlings or planting new seedlings if we have significant rain (Check our website below for further information).

Working Bees for June will be Sunday 9th and Saturday 29th, (2-4pm).

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 5 of us on Sunday 14th(including 3 students) and 7 of us on Saturday 27th(including 2 students). There was also one extra bee (BNZ Corporate Volunteers) with 3 people. Our work included clearing, mulching and watering new seedlings and cutting out big weeds. Thanks to those involved, those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits!

The Reserve and YOU

More people are becoming aware of how the Reserve helps them, and how they can help the Reserve.

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While many people like to get physically involved in planting, weeding, mulching, watering etc, and get great satisfaction from coming to working bees and caring for nature, many other people (especially those nearby), can also help the Reserve simply in the ways they manage their own properties and activities, and the Reserve will help them in return by improving many aspects of their general environment. Over the next several monthly reports I will feature many of these things people can do and what the Reserve will do for them in return. Hopefully we can all feel pride, ownership, engagement, responsibility and kaitiakitanga for this great community resource which can provide so much for us.

Watering

Our drought has finally broken! But as at last Friday (end of month for rainfall) we only had 34mm of rain for the month (82mm last April), but 50mm evapotranspiration (59mm last April). Soil moisture is still very low, but thanks to dozens of people using our (bottles and water bins) watering system, many seedlings have survived. Please keep up the watering a little longer as we wait for more rain! This time last year we had ample soil moisture and had been planting for several weeks.

Pests

The tally of animal pests eliminated in April was 2 possums, 7 rats and 7 mice (2 fewer possums but 5 more rats than in April last year). We will soon be adding mouse traps to get those mice presently escaping from rat traps (thanks to Mitre 10 for supplying).

Weeds

A reduction in big weeds is clear to see in some parts of the Reserve…well done to all those “cutters”. Please keep cutting though, especially Boneseed (saltbush), Fennel, Pride of Madeira (Echium), Blackberry and Banana Passionfruit.

Seedlings

Our Council supplied seedlings for this year are still waiting at Trees For Canterbury…but only till we get good soil moisture!

Bird Count

Our expert Di Cowan and I, did our 6 monthly bird count on Saturday 13th April. We recorded 83 natives (2 bellbirds,7 fantails, 5 grey warblers, 66 silvereyes and 3 black-backed gulls), and 63 introduced (21 blackbirds, 1 chaffinch, 2 dunnocks, 2 goldfinches, 1 greenfinch, 5 house sparrows, 4 magpies, 4 thrushes, 21 starlings and 2 yellowhammers). The proportion of natives was 57%, down on the 65% at this time last year, but still higher than the 52% in 2017 and still higher than the proportion of introduced birds.

Climate Change Challenge

Interest is increasing in the challenge to reduce household emissions by 1% each month for the next 11 years. For those who want to join in, the website for the free on-line Household Calculator and tips is www.enviro-mark.com. There are also two very informative “power-point” presentations from the Redcliffs Residents public meeting which I can send to you on request.

Volunteers

We now have 160 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.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE www.draytonreservevolunteers.org.nz