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Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 44, 31 October 2019

NEXT WORKING BEE

Sunday 10th Nov 9am   .... Meet at the junction of the Main and Avery Tracks  … we will be weeding and watering seedlings. 

Working Bee for December will be Sunday 15th  9am.

RESERVE RAMBLE

Saturday 30th Nov 9am …. Further details to come!  

RECENT WORK

We had two normal working bees this month, on Sunday 13th (just me!) and Saturday 26th (just Jo, David Cox and me!). I guess it’s a busy time of year! We also had 1 extra planting bee on 16th (3 of us) and several informal bees to get the last of the seedlings  planted. Other work included clearing weeds, mulching, watering and checking traps. We have planted 1,122 seedlings this season. Thanks to those involved, to those who have also worked on other days and to Barb for biscuits.

STREAM SURVEY

Mt Pleasant School years 5 & 6, their teachers and EOS Ecology carried out a comprehensive survey of our stream this week under the EOS Ecology “Nature Agents” programme. Preliminary results were mixed, with some good aspects and some poor aspects. The good ones included: water temperature, pH, canopy cover and bank and riparian vegetation cover. The poor ones included: water clarity (extremely poor), variety and numbers of aquatic invertebrates, algae bed cover, aquatic plants, silt bed cover, silt depth and water velocity. They will next check their results, analyse them and produce conclusions and suggestions for stream improvements.

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Kirsty of EOS Ecology supervising water clarity measurements.

BIRD COUNT

Our expert, Di Cowan and I did our 6-monthly count on Fri 18th.  Results were 49 natives (47%)  and 55 introduced birds (53%). The proportion of natives has been generally about this level at this time of year, and about 10% higher in the April counts.  

WEATHER

This month we had 76mm rainfall (32 mm last Oct) and 95mm evapotranspiration (91mm last Oct).  This means that seedlings need about 20mm of  water already. We are about 40mm down on the long term average rainfall for this time of year but that is better than the last two years.

PESTS

We have trapped 2 rats and 2 mice in the Reserve for the month and 3 rats have been trapped on neighbouring properties, again very low levels ( same as Oct last year). We have seen a few Asian Paper Wasps already, as well as one nest (yet to remove).

PLANT CARE

Now that we have finished planting, the next stage of work will be mainly keeping the seedlings alive, by clearing overhanging weeds, mulching and watering. There has been a lot of spring growth, especially with weeds, and some seedlings will be hard to find. Look out for our plant stakes and ribbons, and seedlings will generally be about 2m apart.  Look out for bumble bees, which nest in holes in the ground under weeds, they can give a painful sting if disturbed! Also look out for the paper wasps for the same reason. Their nests will be in small twiggy shrubs and look like a small ball of honeycomb.

CLIMATE & ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY

Check out the Redcliffs Residents Association Pledges List for residents. 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 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.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE:

www.draytonreservevolunteers.org.nz

We will soon be getting this up to date and keeping it current.