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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 43, 30 September 2019

Next Working Bees

Saturday 13th October 9am and Saturday 26th October 9am. Meet at the junction of the Main and Avery Tracks for both working bees. We will be weeding and watering seedlings.  

Working Bees for November will be Sunday 10th and Saturday 30th, 9.00am.

Recent Work

We had two normal working bees this month, with 9 of us (incl. 3 students) on Sunday 15th, and 4 of us on Saturday 28th. We also had 2 extra planting bees on 7th (8 of us) and 19th (26 Mt Pleasant Sea Scout Cubs).  Our work included clearing weeds, planting, mulching, watering and checking traps. We have now planted 1,030, with 50 to go (more having arrived from the Council!).  Thanks to those involved, to those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits and cake.

Drayton Sept 1

The Reserve And Water

Here’s another way the Reserve helps you and how you can help the Reserve. In the Reserve, the volume of water in the stream varies dramatically from a torrent (as above) in rain storms, to a trickle in the hottest part of summers. When forest originally covered the catchment, rainfall would have been slowed by vegetation and seepage into litter and soil and the flows in the stream would have been much less extreme. 

The water comes from rain (and other precipitation), springs, seepage and stormwater from hard surface areas like buildings and paving. The Reserve thus provides us with the drainage for all of the stormwater originating from the whole catchment. The stream also provides habitat for freshwater organisms, including the banded kokopu (a minor whitebait species) recently discovered in the stream.

Increasing development of the catchment with roads, driveways, other paving and houses, increases the volume of water runoff and the speed at which it arrives in the stream. These effects can be reduced by installing roof water storage tanks, providing porous paths and  driveways, installing rain gardens and swales, repairing any water pipe leaks or faulty irrigation systems and installing “gutter tanks” or “rain barrels” to collect roof water for garden use. The rain falling on your property belongs to you! So why not use it rather than pipe it away?  Runoff effects can also be reduced by planting more trees, especially our native trees (see our website) which have successfully evolved for thousands (even millions) of years and are  adapted to our climate, birdlife, insects, soils and micro-organisms.

Stream Survey

Some Mt Pleasant pupils will be measuring aspects of the stream this month under an EOS Ecologists programme. We will give you results as soon as we can.

Bird Count 

Our 6-monthly count will start 9am Friday 18th. Call me if interested.

Watering

This month we had 60mm rainfall (44 mm last Sept) and 57mm evapotranspiration (62mm last Sept). Soil moisture is still reasonable for planting although a bit on the dry side in parts. This will be a good “base level” of moisture for us to assess how much watering will be needed to replace evapotranspiration from seedlings over the next several months. We are about 60mm down on the long term average rainfall for this time of year but that is better than the last two years.

Pests

We have only trapped 2 mice in the Reserve for the month and 2 rats have been trapped on neighbouring properties, again very low levels ( 3 rats and 6 mice last Sept).

Climate & Ecological Emergency

Check out the Redcliffs Residents Association Pledges List for residents (attached). This is a great opportunity for everyone to make a start on reducing their emissions and keeping our planet healthy for future generations. Well done all those who joined the Schools Strike4Climate on Friday 27th!

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