Report 40, 30 June 2019
Next Working Bees
Sunday 14th July 2pm and Saturday 27th July 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 August will be Sunday 11th and Saturday 31st (2-4pm).
We had two normal working bees this month, with 13 of us on Sunday 9th(including 6 students) and 9 of us on Saturday 29th. Our work included clearing weeds and planting, mulching and watering new seedlings (436 so far). Thanks to those involved, those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits!
The Reserve and Weeds
Here’s how the Reserve helps you and how you can help the Reserve.
In the Reserve, there are lots of different introduced weeds which, if uncontrolled, would outcompete native plants, significantly reduce biodiversity and spread to other properties. We spend a lot of time firstly trying to stop them spreading (like cutting off flowers), secondly cutting them out where we want to plant natives and thirdly suppressing them by helping natives grow to shade them out. All this will take some time, but gradually there will be less weeds in the Reserve or spreading to adjoining properties. Instead there should be native seeds and some seedlings spreading out from the Reserve.
In the surrounding catchment, all of the same weeds can be found. People living in the surrounding area can significantly help the Reserve and our volunteers, by controlling weeds on their properties (before seeds are air or water borne, or eaten or dispersed in other ways) and disposing of them properly so they wont spread to other properties or the Reserve. You can find most of these weeds listed on our website (under “Plants/Species/Weeds page”) along with suggested removal and disposal methods.
Greg Burrell (fish ecologist), checked for signs of kokopu spawning after the heavy rain early in the month, but didn’t find any eggs. He will do some more regular checks next spawning season.
Builder, Jason Shaw, has volunteered to instal the nestbox up in the tree we have identified, so we will set a date for anyone who wants to come and help. We also need to do some clearing of broom, gorse and blackberries and fix metal bands on the trunks to eliminate possum and rat access.
Dr Marieke Lettink, local lizard expert, kindly came to check out our rock outcrop areas for any sign of geckos. Although there was reasonable habitat for them, unfortunately no geckos or even signs of them were found. It seems that predators may have eliminated them. These include rats, mice, hedgehogs, cats and pheasants! We will need to focus on looking after our skinks in the meantime and improve the lizard food source and reduce the predators, before reconsidering getting geckos back into the Reserve.
This month we had a lot of rain in the first week (97mm), with a monthly total of 110mm (98 mm last June) and 20 mm evapotranspiration (18 mm last June). Soil moisture is now adequate for planting although we will be giving new seedlings an initial “drink”.
The tally of animal pests eliminated in June was 7 rats and 6 mice (there were 2 possums, 1 rabbit, 2 rats and 7 mice, last June). No sign of weasels this year but signs of more mice as often bait gets eaten without traps being triggered.
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.
We now have 166 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE www.draytonreservevolunteers.org.nz