Sunday 15 May – 2 hours was spent splitting flaxes which had been donated by Sue Haigh and planting them on the Carlyons property, along with some sedges. The pratia angulata is looking very healthy, however, a number of weeds have become established within these plants and it was rather time-consuming digging them out.
On Thursday, 19 May and Friday 19 May, Cam spent several hours clearing weeds on the Harvey’s property (mainly chainsawing and pasting privet along the stream edges). He said he had never seen such large privet trees. The area has been opened up and will need to be planted as soon as possible before other weeds become established.
On Sunday 24 April, Trish and Arthur Gundy and Richard Taylor met with me in the valley (on the Harvey’s wetland area) to weed around the sedges planted last year. The Council’s recommendation to plant sedges has proved to be a positive move. While they were covered in convolvulus, there was very little Tradescantia amongst the plants. While there are concerns regarding the ongoing management of this nuisance weed, the general view is that if we wait until the Tradescantia is fully under control before planting, we might all die of old age first, due to it recolonising from upstream every time there is a decent flood! Tradescantia is well established further up Pakiri Rd which is a whole project in itself.
We therefore plan to continue planting sedges along the border of the stream and carry out hand-control where necessary.
The 4 of us spent 2 hours weeding. We were so involved we forgot to take a before and after photograph.
It has been a disappointing start to the year with the climatic conditions proving to be particularly weed-friendly. Convolvulus became established over the plants on the Carlyons’ property despite two hand-clearing efforts in preparation for spraying. Many other varieties of weeds including mothplant also made their presence felt but the convolvulus formed a thick carpet over the plants. No doubt this was due the fact this weed, which was already established at the top of the property, was disturbed in spring when Cam sprayed the area. The muggy temperatures during February prevented us from doing much follow-up weeding and Cam was unavailable for most of the month. While it had already been concluded that the selected plants (pratia angulata and muehlenbeckia) were not hardy enough to compete with certain weeds and more suitable native plants needed to be planted instead, my heart sank when I saw the area two weeks ago.
However, it is easy to forget how many weeds we have removed including large areas of moth plant and eleagnus which were threatening to strangle the bush. Patience is necessary and with regular follow-up spraying, a selection of more suitable plants, as well of regular control of weeds, our efforts will pay off.
March has gone off to a promising start. Cam carried out 14 hours of weeding in the valley and on the Carlyon’s property, cutting and pasting privet and other larger weeds and spraying tradescantia 1 metre from the stream edge.
Our first formal working bee for some time was held on Saturday 12 March. We were thrilled to see how great the area was looking since we last worked there just under a year ago. Thanks to our volunteers Richard Taylor, Nik Erikson, Trish and Arthur Gundy and John and Nola Harvey, a large area of Tradescantia further downstream was cleared. Richard, Nik and I planted about 20 sedges in the early afternoon. It was difficult for Richard to get a spade into the rocky stream banks and stream bed, so at times we resorted to using our hands. I think the pratia angulata John Harvey has been propagating will be a good plant for this rocky area.
Nik set some further stoat traps and then we distributed some of the remaining sedges to other property owners.
We both worked for another 4 hours in the afternoon, finishing just before 7pm. Nik mowed our lawns which came up to his knees and I carried out further weeding on the Carlyons’ and planted a few sedges around the surviving plants.
Our water pump at the bach was out of action so we were unable to have a nice shower after all our efforts. We headed home very dirty and received some strange glances when we stopped in at a Japanese restaurant to pick up takeaways at around 8.30pm!
31/1/16 – 2 hours spent clearing a grove of privet using the cut and paste method.
4/1/16 – Spent 4 hours clearing weeds including privet, monthplant, ginger, African Clubmoss on McMullan’s while Chris formed a track to the ridge to assist with pest control.
5/1/16 – Spent 3 hours with Chris clearing the bottom track alongside the creek running from McMullan’s to the wetland area (harbour end). Chris formed bridges with Manuka and I cleared a large area of mothplant.
6/1/16 – 8.30am start with Cam clearing privet while Chris formed a track from the ridge to the stream and then along the reek. I was stung on the arm and then chased by a very aggressive German wasp. Cam kindly located and eradicated the nest. Cam and I later walked up the valley to survey the area and cleared a small number of weeds. A decision was made to spray the majority of Tradescantia and clear it by hand streamside.
7/1/16 – 8.30 start. Cam, Richard Taylor, his children (Troy and Kristin) and I transported some remaining wetland plants to the top of the catchment area. The tradescantia and asparagus fern cleared from this area a year ago is becoming re-established. We hand-cleared weeds and planted about 50 sedges.
8/1/16 – 8am start – 3 hours were spent weeding around plants on Carlyons which had become smothered with bindweed. The Pratia Angulata is becoming established. The Muehlenbeckia is taking a bit longer. My work was cut short by a thunderstorm.
10/1/16 – 3 hours were spent weeding/spraying on our wetland area. The sedges planted further up the valley were hand weeded. Bindweed is once again a major problem. Areas of Tradescantia and African Clubmoss were also cleared.
18/1/16 – 3 hours weeding around the flaxes and tea tree plants on the Carlyon’s. Weeds area already becoming re-established around the Pratia Angulata and Muehlenbeckia
A fundraising classical guitar fundraising concert was held at The Vivian gallery on Sunday, 8 November. It was a very enjoyable occasion. The weather was brilliant and The Vivian proved to be the perfect location – a relaxing, beautiful atmosphere with great acoustics.
Internationally renowned guitarist, Bruce Paine, kindly donated his time to support the Baddeley’s Beach and Leigh Harbour Valley Society restoration projects. His performance was described as ‘stunning’ and ‘quite incredible’
If you would like to hear some of Bruce’s music, while supporting our fundraising efforts, you can purchase from him directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention you are supporting the Leigh Harbour Valley or Baddeleys Beach projects and he will donate $5 from each CD sold to our restoration efforts. CD titles can be viewed on-line at www.brucepaine.co.nz. His CD’s are available to supporters for a special price of $25.
On Monday, 7 September Chris and I spent 5 hours planting the sedges at the bottom of the valley and weeding around the existing plants. On Sunday, 11 October 5 hours were spent weeding and spraying around plants on the Carlyons. Unfortunately a number the plants (pratia angulata and Muehlenbeckia axillaris) which were positioned near the large pohutukawa were looking quite unhealthy, due to the dry conditions although I am hoping some of them will survive with a bit of TLC (and some watering). The transplanted flaxes appear to be doing well. On Friday, 23 October Trish Gundy and Richard Taylor joined Cam Rathe where they cleared and pasted privet along the stream edges. Cam will continue this work throughout the valley. On Monday, 26 October, Chris and I spent 4 hours planting the remaining sedges and weeding around plants on the Harvey’s property which had become covered in bind weed as well as plants on the wetland area at the bottom of the valley.
Along with Ngaire Wallen from the Baddeley’s and Buckletons Beach restoration group, Chris and I visited Cue Haven where we met the owners Tom and Mahrukh. We were blown away by their wonderful restoration work on what was previously bare pasture with only a narrow strip of established native trees alongside a stream. They clearly have incredible organisational skills and appear to be the experts in recruiting volunteers. They work with a number schools and tertiary educational groups including students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award programme, Unitec students as well as Auckland University students and other charitable trusts. We also met their friends and neighbours at Mataia, Gill & Kevin Adshead, who were responsible for initiating The Forest Bridge Trust www.theforestbridgetrust.org.nz and Sue Cameron (a previous DoC employee who works for the trust). Their vision is to create a pest and predator free green belt from the Kaipara Harbour to the Omaha Estuary. They hope to soon be working with Leigh School which should have positive spin-offs for our project. An enjoyable afternoon was spent sharing ideas and restoration experiences.
Kathryn and Chris Erikson at Cue Haven
Kathryn, Chris and Ngaire Wallen at Cue Haven
We were only expecting a couple of volunteers at our most recent planting day on Sunday, 26 July and were pleasantly surprised to be joined by an enthusiastic team of 6 (8 of us in total) including Frankie Hofland and her husband Nick; landowners at Pakiri. Frankie is a co-ordinator for Trees for Survival and along with Nick is involved in the local Pakiri Landcare Group.
We met at 9.30am and carted the sedges further up the valley to the Harvey’s wetland area. Approximately 10 square metres of tradescantia was cleared and planted with a selection of sedges. In no time we had filled 3 large weed bags and were reminded what a mammoth task we have ahead of us. The rain held off until 1.00pm when it became slippery under foot and we decided to call it a day.
Weeding prior to planting
Happy group of volunteers admiring a job well done
On Friday, 17 July Jo Evans and Susan Gibbings assisted Cam Rathe setting up the new stoat line. With the 5 traps that Cam had brought they had 9 to set up in the valley. They placed the first on the Erikson’s main track down to the wetland, on a corner beside the large old pine tree. The rest (8) were spaced at roughly 100-150 pace intervals up the valley near the stream.
#1 Start of the Valley Track on the edge of Erikson’s wetland
#2 Watkinson’s stream crossing by rope swing
#3 Old pump stand
#4 Harvey’s stream crossing
#5 Near side waterfall
#6 Across stream (W side)
#7 Above rapids (E side of stream)
#8 Just before bottom of Gundy’s track (E side of stream)
All traps were set with fresh rabbit meat (from Cam’s first shooting session).
The traps set up on the baitline along the BNZ track were checked and contained the following:
No.4 tripped but no catch
Since then, another two stoats have been caught and 2 large rats.