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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 42, 31 August 2019

Next Working Bees

9-11am…Springtime!!

Sunday 15th Sept 9am and Saturday 28th Sept 9am .... Meet at the junction of the Main and Avery Tracks for both working bees … we will be planting and watering new seedlings and weeding older seedlings. (Check our website below for further information).

Working Bees for October will be Sunday 13th and Saturday 26th 9am

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 3 of us(incl. 1 student) on Sunday 11th, and 14 of us(incl. 4 students)on Saturday 31st. We also had 7 extra planting bees! on 7th, 16th, 18th, 20th (12 university Japanese students), 21st (4 MtPleasant School students), 23rd and 28th. Our work included clearing weeds and planting, mulching and watering new seedlings (845 now and 150 to go). Thanks to those involved, to those who have also worked on other days and to Barb and Callum for biscuits and cake.

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Land slump and silt washing onto Drayton Track.

THE RESERVE AND SOILS

Here's another way the Reserve helps you and how you can help the Reserve. In the Reserve, there are several different types of soils. Some are from weathered volcanic ash and rock, while others are mainly Loess from wind-blown glacial rock flour during glacial retreats between the ice ages. These soils, along with rock and plant roots provide stability to the hillsides. If vegetation is removed or in extreme rainfall or if water drainage is changed, soils and land can become unstable. Ever since the forest in the Reserve was removed by burning and clearing, the soils and loess on the hillsides have eroded faster and where land has also been excavated or stormwater has been mismanaged, erosion occurs faster still, resulting in more silt in waterways and coastal waters which damages aquatic ecosystems.

There are significant areas of erosion and deposition occurring throughout the Reserve, such that soil slumping and tunnel gully erosion is evident and excessive silt and clay wash into the stream reducing wildlife. This is sometimes from Council pipe failures, but also from subdivisions and inappropriate private stormwater pipes discharging water onto the hillside. Such discharges can form channels where the water washes clay downhill above or beneath the ground surface and eventually into natural tributaries or the stream. By law, stormwater can only be discharged into the ground where it falls or into a public piped system or directly into a natural watercourse. Many other activities such as minor earthworks, paths and small buildings may not be subject to Council approval , but any of these can destabilise land of the owners, neighbours or the public so great care and proper design, construction and mitigation is essential.

WEATHER

This month we had 88mm rainfall (30 mm last Aug) and 44mm evapotranspiration (45 mm last Aug). Soil moisture is mainly good for planting although a bit on the dry side in parts. The rainfall total is still about 60mm down on the past average.

PESTS

David Cox has generously donated a rat Good Nature trap, so we installed that on the Morepork tree…four strikes so far but only one mouse as evidence (could be tampering or other pests could have dragged kill away?). We have only trapped 2 other mice in the Reserve for the month, which is hopefully a good sign! (there was 1 possum, 2 rats and 2 mice, last Aug).

CLIMATE & ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY

Redcliffs Residents Association have now prepared a Strategy and a Pledges List for residents. An outline of the Strategy is in the latest “Redcliffs Times” attached and the “Pledges” List is also attached. This is a great opportunity for everyone to make a start on reducing their emissions and keeping our planet healthy for future generations.

VOLUNTEERS

We now have 173 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.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE www.draytonreservevolunteers.org.nz