Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 13, 31 March 2017


Sunday9th April 2pm…and….Saturday 29thApril 2pm at Waterfall Lookout…we will clear cut-off drains along the main track and continue clearing weeds in areas for future planting…

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

---If weather is bad the Sunday event will be cancelled and the Saturday event postponed

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


Scientists are now convinced of something most of us already knew or felt ---that spending time in a natural environment improves your happiness, health and creativity. They have measured significant increases in wellbeing and decreases in stress levels from walking in a forest. Try it out...in your local Drayton Reserve! ( A new book “The Nature Fix” by Florence Williams outlines much of the scientific research).


Both working bees this month had to be postponed for a week because of wet weather. We had 7 volunteers on Sunday 19th March and managed to weed and mulch all the seedlings near Avery Place. The “last Saturday” bee became the 1st of April and 14 volunteers, including 5 Mt Pleasant School kids, made a huge impact on cutting fennel and had a great time. Well done guys and thanks to Sue for the yummy cake.


While we had some good rain this month, the rainfall was still exceeded by evapo-transpiration. It would seem best to keep up the watering and hope next month yields surplus rain.


There are now new Council signs at all entrances to the Reserve and at the main track junctions. No possibility of getting lost now! The signs also make it clear that mountain biking isn’t provided for and dogs must be kept under effective control (which includes picking up doo’s).


We have had a special working bee approved under this scheme, so will have extra volunteers clearing weeds on Anzac Day 2pm. You could also be involved by going to www.servefor.nz. Thanks to Prue for setting this up.          


We have had a slow but very welcome start to our donation scheme for seedlings from Trees For Canterbury! Great news! 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 it’s own resources, has restored this forest for present and future generations. The 500 plants we were expecting from the City  Council have  been cut back to about 350 and we have had to re-specify which types we want. The 300 plants we applied for from the Regional Council have not been confirmed yet, but an officer has been out to inspect our project so we are hopeful. The most reliable option at this stage is to transplant within the Reserve, self-sown seedlings which are unlikely to survive in their present locations. We hope to start doing this soon. 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.


A copy of this is attached for your information.


Thank you for your responses to our call for help, in particular regarding donations, mapping and baking. We welcome any more offers especially in the areas of research, web sites and data management.  Please email or call me if you are interested in such opportunities.


Our next 6 monthly count will be Friday the 21st of April. Meet at Craigieburn Place entrance at 9:00am.


The tally for the Reserve and adjoining areas for March was: 1 possum, 6 rats and 26 mice. We think that at this time of the year rats and possums are targeting fruit and nut trees in the adjoining residential areas!


A control strategy which worked well for us this season, was getting a cheap wasp trap from a hardware store, keeping syrup in it (1 heaped tablespoon of brown sugar per cup of water), and putting it out early inSpring, so that  we caught the over-wintering queens before they established nests. Caught dozens of wasps (and very few bees).


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 almost 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. Like us, you will 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.