Drayton Reserve Volunteers

Drayton Reserve

Report 7, 27 September 2016


Sorry to ask for an extra day, but we’ve received yet more plants from Council and we need to get them in quickly and also get onto broom and saltbush cutting at the end of the month to avoid another year of weed seeding. Meet at the Avery Place entrance at 2pm on Saturday 15th Oct 2016 for planting and Saturday 29th Oct for weed cutting at our regular monthly bee.

---Some Council equipment will be available but you may prefer to bring your own.

---Wear sturdy shoes or boots, warm clothes and sunhat.

---If weather is bad, the alternative dates will be Sat 22nd Oct and Sat 5th Nov.

---Cake and hot tea will be provided!  Bring your water bottle and a cup for tea.


David and Dan Cox have continued clearing blackberry above the footbridge. We had 15 of us planting and clearing on the 10th (Conservation Week) and 19 of us on the 24th. We planted altogether 194 seedlings and did further clearing and watering in the process. Thanks to Prue, Frances and  Meagan Kelly for the delicious cakes and biscuits.  Well done all and hopefully more volunteers will join in next month.


Teacher Meagan Kelly, two parents and students Laughlan, Ruby, Elisa, Sailor, Will and Nolan swelled our numbers on the 24th  .  It was great to have you all there, it felt even more like a community effort and we hope it will continue.   


The last batch of plants for this year is 112 seedlings. This will bring the total number we have planted to 660, a great effort considering the associated weed clearing.


Now until about February is the time to water seedlings at 1-2 week intervals to keep soil moist down in their rooting zone (after this, it will be very difficult). Prue has kicked off a scheme for walkers to “adopt a tree” (or several trees!) and water it/them from their drink bottle 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!


We have circulated a draft strategy on pest control and are awaiting feedback from you and Council officers. We propose kill traps for mustelids, possums and rats. There are no measures for cats, we just ask owners to keep their moggies well fed and indoors as much as possible, especially at nights.


We are close to starting these.


The Reserve is a great place to walk your dog and lots of people do it. It’s also a great place for pleasure and inspiration from nature for many people. Unfortunately there’s not much pleasure and inspiration to be gained from seeing dog doos, either raw or in plastic bags, so please owners do the right thing and pick doos up and take them home.



Council had planted many totara before we became involved and we have planted another 105. They are mainly lower down on the hillsides and we have placed a name marker beside the upstream end of the main track so you can identify them (the dog appears uninterested). Totara grow to about 20m in height and have very big trunks, some with about 10m circumference. They are podocarps like kahikatea and are highly valued as a durable hardwood timber. They are used by Maori for carving and for waka. Like kahikatea they produce large quantities of berries eaten by birds and people.


You deserve one easy day a year, so we are planning a “Reserve Ramble” with Colin Meurk the ecologist as our guide, who will show us many native species in the Reserve (which we haven’t realised are there!), to be followed by a bit of a picnic at the waterfall lookout. This will be held on our scheduled “work” day 17th December. Meet at the lookout at 2pm.


Please diary these Saturdays 2-4pm :  Oct 15, Oct 29, Nov 26, Dec 17.   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.