Report 9, 30 November 2016
DRAYTON RESERVE VOLUNTEERS Report #9…30 November 2016
DAY OFF NEXT MONTH – RESERVE RAMBLE
We will celebrate the end of our first year with a Ramble in the Reserve with well-known ecologist Colin Meurk. Colin will show us many native species in the Reserve which we haven’t realised are there. We can also admire all the weed clearing and planting work that has been done over the last 8 months and talk about priorities for the next 12 months. Meet at the waterfall lookout half way up the valley at 2pm on Saturday 17th November.
---Wear sturdy shoes or boots, suitable clothes and sunhat.
---If weather is bad the event will be postponed till 28th January 2017
---Refreshments will be provided! Bring your water bottle and a cup for tea.
There were 7 of us on the 12th and 14 (including 5 school kids) on the 26th Nov, clearing weeds around seedlings and from areas for future planting and David and Dan Cox have continued clearing blackberry above the footbridge. We have been concentrating on open areas because weeds growing amongst established natives will soon be suppressed naturally by shading. Our thanks to Di Cowan and Prue Edmond for organising the working bee on the 26th.
Council contractors are required to weed all the tracks every October, November, December, February and April. We have advised Council about the incomplete November work which you may have noticed.
Prue and others have been regularly watering many trees. From now until March it will be important to water seedlings at 1-2 week intervals to keep soil moist down in their rooting zone. It is encouraging to see that several people have been “adopting” seedlings and we hope that other people walking in the Reserve will “adopt a tree” (or several trees!) and water it/them from their drink bottles as they pass. Tie your own cotton tag on it/them to let others know it/those are being taken care of. The trees and all of us will appreciate it!
On the 18th Nov, Lyle Marshall and I, with help from Steve Watts (parent) and 4 Mt Pleasant school kids, set out 8 Council possum traps along the valley floor and 17 of 25 rat traps with tunnels and anchor pins, generously supplied by Mitre 10 Ferrymead. To date we have only caught 2 mice so we are reviewing the lure paste being used! One neighbour has caught a possum however. We are still waiting for trap warning signs from Council and have put up temporary signs in the meantime. We have delivered letters to the 30+ neighbours inviting them to join in, by operating their own traps and have so far had support from 8 neighbours. We have registered our group with Predator Free NZ and added it to the national map. We have no proposals for controlling cats, we just ask owners to keep their moggies well fed and indoors as much as possible, especially at nights.
We have over 70 supporters on our email list now and look forward to having more volunteers join us for a chat and helping hand on our future working bees. Like us, you will find it very satisfying planting and caring for native trees and wildlife and restoring the Reserve to its former glory for conservation, passive recreation and educational purposes, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.