Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 52, 30 June 2020


Sunday 5th July 2pm … Meet at junction of Main and Avery tracks.

Sunday 12th July 2pm… Meet at Virginia Lane Bridge

Saturday 25th July 2pm … Meet at junction of Main and Avery tracks.             We will be planting, mulching and watering seedlings at all Bees.                        Working Bees for August will be Sunday 9th  and Saturday 29 th both at  2pm.


This month, we had a special working bee for Arbor Day on Sunday 7th(2 of us, under Covid 2), and two normal working bees and an extra bee (under Covid Level1), on Sunday 14th (2 of us ), Sunday 21st (5 of us), and Sunday 28th (2 of us). Work included clearing weeds, and planting, mulching and watering seedlings. Other work during the month included topping up water bins, watering seedlings, clearing weeds and checking traps. Our “Watering Walkers” have also continued this month. Many thanks to all of you.

STICK INSECT (Roo or Whee)

recent workDi Cowan Photo

This one was found in the Reserve, tail to the left, head and front legs to the right (making 6 legs in total!). This will be a female as the males are only two thirds this size. They have been around for about 150 million years (when there were dinosaurs). They feed at night on tree leaves, mainly kanuka and manuka and take on the colour of the plant (green or brown). If found in the day, they may walk very slowly and awkwardly or sway like a branch in the wind. If disturbed or picked up they can remain motionless for an hour or more. The females lay eggs in the autumn, and the adults usually die in the winter. Eggs hatch in the spring into nymphs which then form through 3-4 moults into adults. These are one of our many native insects which get attacked by wasps.


This month we only had 34mm of rainfall (110 mm last June), and only 9mm of evapotranspiration (20mm last June) leaving a water surplus of 25mm. That was up until last Friday, and a further 30mm or so rain since then, has created adequate soil moisture for planting more seedlings.


We have put in over 200 plants so far this season, but we still have lots more if you would like to join us on a Planting Bee. Some plants have gone in on the hillside between the main track and Avery Place, others in the gorge area above the waterfall lookout, and others near the Drayton Drive entrance.  Further plants will go along the streamsides by Virginia Lane and others near the stream above the waterfall lookout.


We have trapped one mouse in the Reserve for the month, but 3 mice, 2 rats and 2 possums have been reported as trapped on neighbouring properties. We are still waiting for Council to eliminate the second German wasp nest.


A reminder that this runs until the 5th of July and is open to all.  Simply sit in your garden (or maybe look out a big window from inside!), for 1 hour, and note down the highest number of every bird species seen or heard. Full details, bird pictures, score sheet etc on www.gardenbirdsurvey.landcareresearch.co.nz.


We now have 181 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.