Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 49, 30 March 2020

Working Bees will not be held during the Covid19 Lockdown period.

Water stations and bottles will be replenished for people to water seedlings while walking in the Reserve. Please remember to either take your own bottles, or use hand sanitiser or wear gloves with our bottles, to avoid microbugs on bottle handles. Do not stray too far from the tracks in case you need rescuing. Also remember to always keep your “Bubbles” at least 2m apart.

We also ask that dog owners keep their dogs on a leash and take their dog poo home, as there are many people including children also using the Reserve. Thank you for caring for other people and our environment.

Recent Work

We had one normal working bee this month, watering seedlings on Sunday 15th (13 of us including 5 students from MtPleasant and 3 students from Rangi Ruru). Other work during the month included clearing weeds and checking traps. Thanks to those involved, to those who have also worked on many  other days and to Barb for biscuits. Our “Watering Walkers” have also continued this month as well, and are much appreciated, although it has been difficult at times keeping the water bins full! Many thanks to all of you.


Our last working bee before the Covid-19 Lockdown!  (Photo by Prue)

Tour Aotearoa

Our volunteer Michele stopped at Greymouth due to covid19 virus warnings, after covering 2,150km in 15days through our drought stricken country,  and raising $1,600 for Trees for Canterbury. A great effort Michele, and thanks to everyone who donated.


This month(records up to 27th), we only had 12.5mm rainfall (28 mm last Mar), but 72.5mm evapotranspiration (81mm last Mar) leaving a water deficit of 60mm. The rain from 29th to 31st March (25mm) replaces some of this deficit but this goes into next months records. We are hoping for several more such rain events to get moisture deeper into the soil.


We need to continue regularly watering seedlings with 25mm (500ml) each week. Many seedlings are getting this, thanks partly to the “Watering Walkers”, but some (especially further away from the tracks) have still not had much at all. Some bigger trees are also looking sad from insufficient water so don’t hesitate to give them a full bottle of water! There are only 4 water stations now (the stream sites are often dry) in the areas where seedlings have been planted in the last two years, and these will be regularly topped up for your use.


We have trapped 2 mice, 1 rat and 1 hedgehog in the Reserve for the month, and 4 mice and 3 rats have been trapped on neighbouring properties. We have also disposed of more Asian Paper Wasps and nests.


Please keep cutting flowers and seeds off weeds to avoid them spreading. It is most noticeable and very encouraging to see so much fennel and blackberry lying on the ground and starting to decompose. Well done weeders!


We now have 182 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.

Also check out www.draytonreservevolunteers.org.nz