Restoration takes advantage of the habitat layers that already exist in the willow woodland.
Climb the tower through the different layers of the willow woodland.
At ground level, the deep, permanently wet peat provides a home for fungi, insects, spiders, worms, and snails. Native ferns, mosses, and clumps of flax-like native lilies form low-growing patches amongst sedges and grasses.
In the layer above them, some damp-loving native understory shrubs and cabbage trees already grow naturally under the sheltering willows. The willow canopy will eventually be superseded by native trees to form broadleaved swamp forest.
From the top of the tower, look towards QEII park, Maori settled on that higher ground about 750 years ago, calling their village Oruapaeroa. The swamp served them as a mahinga kai, a main food source providing waterfowl and weka that fed the people and could be traded throughout Canterbury.
Watch out for bellbirds particularly in summer when the flax is flowering. A few visit these willows and the gum trees on Mairehau Road.
Can you find this plant ?
Kiokio is an endemic common fern found throughout New Zealand growing along roadsides and streams.
Frequently seen on roadside banks and in forest gullies as well as in scrub and swamp.
The new growth has red tones and turn light green and then darker green as they mature.
Blechnum novae-zelandiae is an endemic fern of New Zealand. It belongs to the family of hard ferns, the second largest of New Zealand’s fern families.
Blechnum novae-zelandiae has long fronds that grow up to 2 metres long by 50 cm wide.
Can you see this bird ?
Silvereye, Zosterops lateralis, Tauhou
The Silvereye is a self introduced bird first recorded in New Zealand in 1832, larger numbers arrived in 1856.
A gregarious species, flocks of Silvereyes can often be seen hunting for insects among the Grey Willow in this area.