Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 47, 31 January 2020


Sunday 9th Feb 9am. Meet at the Virginia Lane bridge.

Saturday 29th Feb 9am. Meet at junction of Main and Avery tracks. 

We will be weeding, mulching and watering seedlings at both Bees.

We will also continue to have extra sessions at 9am on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout Feb to catch up with weeding, mulching and watering seedlings.

Working Bees for March will be Sunday 15th and Saturday 28th both at 9am.


We had two normal working bees this month, on Sunday 12th (2 of us) and Saturday 25th (7of us). We also had  extra bees on 1st, 4th, 8th , 13th, 15th,18th, 22ndand 29th   (14 of us total), clearing, mulching and watering seedlings. Other work included clearing weeds and checking traps. Thanks to those involved, to those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits. There has been a significant increase in “Watering Walkers” this month and it has even been difficult at times keeping water in the bins! These volunteers are much appreciated because there would certainly have been more dead seedlings without them. It is a big win/win situation when you can water seedlings while exercising by walking in the Reserve. Many thanks to all of you.


Our annual panoramic photos now show 3.5 years of growth, illustrated in the photos below.

Tree Growth above bridge:

December 2016 
image002December 2019                                          


This month we only had 3mm rainfall (42 mm last Jan), but 142mm evapotranspiration (146mm last Jan) leaving a water deficit of 139mm.  


The above figures suggest that seedlings which haven’t been regularly watered, are now theoretically 300mm short of water (since last September). However our local native species are adapted to dry Summers, so it is more relevant to consider the historical average rainfall for January of 41mm.  This means our seedlings certainly need an extra 40mm, as well as an extra 50mm from December. 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 any at all. There are only 4 water stations now (the stream sites are almost dry) in the areas where seedlings have been planted in the last two years, and these will be regularly topped up for your use as follows:

Adopt a Tree scheme:  

Could you please adopt about 6 plants each, tie your own cotton ribbons on their stakes so you can easily find them and try to give them about 500ml of water each week (can do 6 seedlings with 3L). There will be several 3L milk bottles at water bins. Also, the generous neighbour below the Craigieburn entrance has installed a tap beside the track for your use. Leave your empty bottles at any of these places.


We have only trapped 2 mice, 1 rat and 1 hedgehog in the Reserve for the month, but 7 mice, 8 rats, 1 hedgehog and 1 possum have been trapped on neighbouring properties and weasels have again been seen in the area. We have also disposed of several Asian Paper Wasps and nests.


Please keep cutting flowers and seeds off weeds to avoid them spreading.


The Redcliffs/Te Rae Kura Eco Village Group have released their 2020 Pledges List (attached with this Report). These are now called the “KiwiEco Pledges” and are being circulated nationwide for anyone to use. We hope you will take them on….great for New Year resolutions!


We will have a display (in conjunction with the Redcliffs/Te Rae Kura Eco Village Group) at this event 22nd Feb 1-5pm at the Mt Pleasant Community Centre, so come along to say hello and give us your thoughts.


We have 175 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