Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 14, 30 April 2017


Sunday 14th May 2pm…and Saturday 27th May 2pm at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout…we will continue clearing weeds and hopefully start planting…

 ---Wear suitable clothes, footwear, gloves and sunhat and bring your own tools if you prefer

---If weather is bad the events will be postponed till 21st May and 3rd June

---Refreshments will be provided!  Bring your water bottle and a cup for tea.


 Tea time Anzac Day


We had 3 working bees this month with 2 of us on Sunday 9th April clearing track drains and weeds at the top of the waterfall, 25 on Anzac Day under the “Serve For NZ” scheme clearing the path from Glenstrae Rd and up to Omeo Cres and 6 of us including a Mt Pleasant School group on Saturday 29th April transplanting doomed seedlings within the Reserve. Well done everyone for significant progress on transforming the Reserve and thanks to Barb, Prue and Meagan for delicious muffins, biscuits and cakes.


The Keep Christchurch Beautiful organisation wishes to acknowledge all our work towards re-foresting Drayton Reserve, with the presentation of a certificate at their AGM this week. Congratulations to all who have contributed. It’s nice to have our efforts acknowledged, although it must be said that we get most of our satisfaction from working together to recreate this forest, seeing the native plants grow, the weeds decline and the native wildlife increase!


We had more good rain at the start of the month and at this stage the rainfall has exceeded evapotranspiration by about 60mm or 30days. We can safely stop watering last year’s seedlings now and you can retrieve your ribbons (for later use on this year’s seedlings). Many thanks to people who watered seedlings, it has made a big difference to their survival rate.          


Please consider contributing to our donation scheme for seedlings from Trees For Canterbury.  Seedlings cost on average about $7.50 each and we can plant about 700 a year. We will all get a great sense of pride that our own community, using largely its own resources, has restored this forest for present and future generations. We are still waiting for 350 seedlings from the City  Council and  for a response regarding 300 seedlings  from the Regional Council. As noted above, we have in the meantime started to transplant within the Reserve, self-sown seedlings which are unlikely to survive in their present locations. Unfortunately transplanting can’t be done for the other 80 or so species not yet back in the Reserve!

If you would like to donate to our “account” at  Trees For Canterbury (a Social Enterprise and Registered Charity) so they can supply us with seedlings, please email or call Steve for details at  info@treesforcanterbury.org.nz. Or ph: 982 1028.


We did our 6 monthly bird count on Friday the 21st of April, thanks to our expert member Di Cowan. In summary we recorded 51 natives ( 1 bellbird, 4 fantails, 3 grey warblers and 43 silver eyes), and 48 introduced (16 blackbirds, 1 quail, 6 chaffinches, 2 dunnocks,8 goldfinches, 7 greenfinches, 3 sparrows, 2 starlings, 2 yellowhammers and 1 magpie). While the proportion of natives has increased (from 33% to 51%) not much can be read into this because it was autumn instead of spring and different food was available (eg blackberries). It will be more significant to compare two spring records when we complete the October survey this year.


The tally for the Reserve and adjoining areas for April was: 1 rabbit, 2 possums, 2 rats and 35 mice. Well done trappers. We think that the rats and possums are still targeting fruit and nut trees in the adjoining residential areas!


The Coastal Pathway Group is looking for volunteers to help in planting the area between the Causeway and the Jetty on 13/14th May. Contact Tim Lindley 3849428 or info@christchurchcoastalpathway.org.nz.  


We have over 80 supporters on our email list now 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.  Remember, it has been scientifically proven that spending time in a natural environment such as Drayton Reserve will improve your health, happiness and creativity!

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.