We were expecting 4 workers to assist with weeding around the trees planted by Takapuna Intermediate/Trees for survival and were pleasantly surprised when we ended up with 9 enthusiastic volunteers. Unfortunately a lot of the smaller plants did not survive the dry summer including the cabbage trees which were eco-sourced and re-planted last winter. According to Mike Francis, the chemicals sprayed to enhance his maize crop also caused the kikuyu to go crazy and this was very evident in this fenced area. The stream bed had disappeared and further spraying will be necessary in advance of the planting day in August. Despite the number of plants lost, there are some very healthy specimens present, particularly the coprosma and flaxes which seem to thrive in the environment.
We had a good turn-out for the Community planting day held on 11 April. 16 volunteers assisted with clearing weeds, including deadly nightshade, tobacco plant, ginger, moth plant, jasmine, honeysuckle and tradescantia in the wetland area behind the brown cottage and along the coastal walkway. Manuka, kanuka and pratia angulata, funded by Auckland Council’s Community Education Fund, were later planted. We had planned to spray the area prior to planting but ran out of time. Much to our delight, a significant number of native seedlings were discovered under the weeds, confirming the importance of hand weeding once native plants become more established.
Pratia angulata was chosen as a ground cover to replace Tradescantia. Poroporo has also been recommended.
Arthur and Trish Gundy prepared a delicious spit roast lunch which was enjoyed by everyone.
Unfortunately our first planned weeding/planting day had to be cancelled due to cyclone Pam. On 29 March we continued work on the Gundy’s property; clearing weeds on the borders of the stream. Thanks to our volunteers Jo and Sue Evans, Richard Taylor, Arthur and Trish Gundy and John Harvey 3.5 hours were spent clearing areas which had previously been worked on. Clearing Tradescantia does appear to be a rather sole-destroying task but we are determined to win the battle!
We have a contest underway. Jo Evans has managed to catch 3 more stoats in the past two weeks; almost matching our count for the whole year.
More traps have been purchased and with the help of Ditch, from Coastal Pest Solutions, we plan to set up a stoat line which will be monitored regularly.
4 hours were spent clearing cotoneaster as well as other weeds and spraying periwinkle on the Carlyon’s property in preparation for planting this area at the end of May.
Due to an extremely hot summer, we have made very little progress in the valley although we managed to pull out a bit of moth plant. The rabbit population has increased and pest control expert, Ditch Keeling, will be targeting the area within the next few weeks.
A big thanks to Jo Evans and Sue Gibbings who have been carrying out pest control along Tenetahi Rd. Their recent catch includes four rats and one stoat, dispelling the theory that all the stoats are located on the Mt Pleasant side of the valley!
Sunday 26 October
It seems to be a matter of one step forward and two backwards when it comes to clearing this nasty weed. We revisited areas where we had previously cleared tradescantia to find that it was at least ankle deep over the top of the weed mat we had put in place. Nik and I made an early start and spent 5 hours working on the Harvey’s wetland area. We were joined by Richard Taylor who helped Nik to empty out one of the weed bags which was full of great compost. With Richard’s help we filled about 6 garden rubbish bags and plan to purchase more large weed bags which can remain in situ. Richard Taylor spotted a large centrepede under one of the weed bags which was cradling some eggs. By the time I had my camera ready it had let go of the eggs and retreated into a hole.
Sunday 2 November
Spent 4 hours spraying pampas and clearing Japanese honeysuckle covering trees at the bottom of Mt Pleasant Drive.
Richard Taylor, Jo and Sue Evans spent two hours weeding around the plants on the Harvey’s property.
The Tradescantia has become established again and we plan to meet during Labour Weekend to carry out further weeding in this area.
Sunday 22 May
A great weeding and planting effort at the bottom of Tenetahi Rd, alongside the concrete driveway. A few of the plants planted by Liberty Park had died and several had disappeared, with just the bamboo stick remaining! so we chopped up some of the bigger sedges into four and replanted them. Thanks to our team of volunteers – Richard Taylor, his Dad and twins Troy and Kristen, Margaret and Alistair Scott, Jo Evans, Sue Gibbings and family/friends, Trish and Arthur Gundy and Chris Erikson.
Day 1: Glorious, sunny day. However, due to the challenging terrain, the whole day was spent transferring plants down the steep slopes. We were entertained by ‘Flash’, a gorgeous Jack Russell visiting from Christchurch who had 100 times more energy than we did and lived up to his name when it came to chasing and retrieving his tennis ball.
Day 2: Barely able to get out of bed due to aching knees and sore thighs. Approximately 100 plants were left on the slopes to transport down the hill and another 600 were waiting for us on the driveway. Commenced planting at 9.30am. The rain arrived at 10.00 am and became torrential by midday. The slopes were slippery and quite treacherous so it was decided to access the valley from the other side.
Day 3: Another day of planting.
Many thanks to our hard working team of volunteers:-
Trish and Arthur who made two trips to Te Hana Nurseries to collect the plants.
Rupert (and Flash), Niklas, James and Margaret
Margaret Scott, Jo Evans, Sue Gibbings and Carol Banks.
Our next planting day is scheduled for Sunday 1 August.
Hope to see you there.
The first planting days are planned for Friday 16 July, Saturday 17 July and Sunday 1 August.
We will be concentrating on planting the valley/catchment area at the top of Mt Pleasant Drive. If you or your friends/family would like to participate in any of these planting days we would be delighted to see you.
You will need to bring your own spade, gloves and sturdy footwear. These dates are subject to weather conditions. Please post a comment if you need any further information.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity which celebrates life on Earth and the value of biodiversity for everyone’s lives.