Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 50, 30 April 2020


Will not be held during the Covid19 Lockdown period.

Water stations and bottles will be replenished for people to water seedlings while walking in the Reserve. Please remember to either take your own bottles, or use hand sanitiser or wear gloves with our bottles, to avoid microbugs on bottle handles. Do not stray too far from the tracks in case you need rescuing. Also remember to always keep your “Bubbles” at least 2m apart.

We ask bikers to dismount when passing walkers, and also ask dog owners keep their dogs on a leash and take their dog poo home, as there are many people including children also using the Reserve. Thank you for caring for other people and our environment.


No formal working bees this month, but we have had a small “special taskforce” doing maintenance like topping up water bins, shifting bottles, checking traps, cutting bad weed infestations etc. A big thanks to those involved. Our “Watering Walkers” have also continued this month as well, and are much appreciated, although it has been difficult at times keeping the water bins full! Many thanks to all of you.


One of the major efforts over the last months has been by Di Cowan, clearing blackberry, gorse and broom over the stream from the main track, between the waterfall and the bridge. You will have noticed as you walk along, especially obvious across the pond. Great work, thanks Di.





We have called this area the “Matai-Gorge” ecosystem, and Di is now planting extra  purei (carex secta), harakeke(swamp flax) and mahoe (whiteywood), and adding porokaiwhiri (pigeonwood), kaikomako (ducksfoot), titoki and matai. We have started cutting back the big grey willow tree, allowing more light down to the dozens of native seedlings, mainly karamu (coprosma robusta), and will do a bit more each year allowing the natives to eventually replace the willow tree, while retaining shade over the pool for aquatic invertebrates and fish and reducing evaporation.


This is our 50th edition; i.e. 50 months since starting late April 2016! Cause for congratulation to all, for sticking with it and making such great progress on restoring our native forest. Coinciding with this, we now have an “interactive map” on our website, thanks to Emily Jones (and to covid-19 making her available!). She will now do some fine tuning to get all the tracks right, and put extra features on it.


This month we had 40.5mm rainfall (34 mm last Apr) and 33mm evapotranspiration (50mm last Apr) leaving a water surplus of 7.5mm (eqivalent to 1 weeks uptake). However overall for the year we have only had half the average rainfall, so the ground and the trees are still desperately dry. Hopefully we will get some significant rain next week!


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 much at all. Some bigger trees are also looking sad from insufficient water so don’t hesitate to give them a full bottle of water! There are only 4 water stations now (the stream sites are often dry) in the areas where seedlings have been planted in the last two years, and these will be regularly topped up for your use.


We have trapped 2 mice and 1 possum in the Reserve for the month, and 7 mice, 1 rat and 1 possum have been reported as trapped on neighbouring properties. We have also had Council eliminate one German wasp nest and another is awaiting elimination.


Please keep cutting flowers and seeds off weeds to avoid them spreading. It is most noticeable and very encouraging to see so much fennel, gorse and blackberry lying on the ground and starting to decompose. Well done weeders, especially Di Cowan and Jo Sutherland.


We now  have 179 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.