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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 39, 31 May 2019

Next Working Bees

Sunday 9th June 2pm and Saturday 29th June 2pm .... Meet at the (upper) Waterfall Lookout for both working bees … we will be planting new seedlings (Check our website below for further information).

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

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 7 of us on Sunday 12th(including 4 students) and 18 of us on Saturday 25th(including 4 students). There was also one extra bee as part of the “Mother of all Cleanups” on the 11th, with 8 people (including 1 student). Our work included picking up litter, clearing weeds and planting, mulching and watering new seedlings (over 300 so far). Thanks to those involved, those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits!

Kokopu Care

Our working bee on the 25th was transferred to the lower reach of the stream above Basil Place because contractors had done their normal grass cut which removed all the grass overhanging the stream edge. Now that kokopu have been discovered in that part of the stream and knowing that they require overhanging vegetation for shade, insects and refuge, it was urgent to plant native species to “fill the gap”. We did a letterbox drop to the Basil/Virginia Lane residents and many turned out to help. Greg Burrell, the local ecologist who found the kokopu, set a fish trap and caught several kokopu to show us. It was a very enjoyable event, well done all! More people are becoming aware of how the Reserve helps them, and how they can help the Reserve.

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MOTHER OF ALL CLEANUPS

This year we joined the Ihutai/Avon-HeathcoteTrust, to clean up litter in Drayton Stream (which of course also flows into the Estuary). We only covered the lower part of the stream, but hauled out a rusty wheelbarrow, a rotten footbridge and lots of plastic and polystyrene. There was also a lot of dog poo we had to leave for another day (perhaps dog owners will pick that up?).

The Reserve and Litter

Staying with litter, here is how the Reserve helps you and how you can help the Reserve.

In the Reserve, natural litter is dead leaves, branches, trees and animals, which decompose on the ground by rain, air, insects, bacteria and fungii. It eventually becomes humus and recycles into and enriches the soil. Insects and microbes can migrate to neighbouring properties and help natural litter break down and recycle there too.

People however, have lots of other litter and waste, some of which is piped or carted away from our environment for treatment and some of which remains here. Much of this does not decompose and recycle into the soil. We need to be careful to avoid dropping litter and even pick up any that we find (especially after bin collection day!). Council wheelie and other bins often overflow or blow over in strong winds. Consider not putting out your yellow or red bins if strong winds are forecast and if the bins can last another fortnight. Much of this litter gets into road drains and into streams and eventually into the estuary and ocean, threatening stream and ocean creatures. Building construction is another major source of litter. Consider covering skips in windy conditions and every night. Dog poo is another form of litter which while natural, can contain pathogens affecting us and other creatures, so should be buried or picked up and put down your toilet or in your red bin. Caring for the environment in these ways will keep it healthy for future generations. 

COMMUNITY WATER PARTNERSHIP CHARTER

We have joined this too, for support we may need in restoring Drayton Stream to full health. It includes the City and Regional Councils, Ngai Tahu and many other community groups restoring waterways in our region.

Watering

This month we had 52 mm of rain (95 mm last May) and 39 mm evapotranspiration (31 mm last May). Soil moisture will be adequate for planting after expected rain tomorrow and Sunday so we will withdraw our watering system until next summer. Thanks to everyone who has been watering.

Pests

The tally of animal pests eliminated in May was 1 possum, 4 rats and 6 mice (there were 2 possums, 3 rats, 4 mice and a weasel in May last year).

Climate Change Challenge

The calculators are on www.enviro-mark.com.

Volunteers

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