Restoring native forest is a long-term goal. This willow woodland is being managed to encourage the establishment of plants typical of native swamp forest.
Male willow trees are being left to provide shelter and shade for the native plantings. The paint-marked willows are females. They are being killed to prevent further spread of willow from wind-blown seed.
The dying trees will continue to provide shelter and suppress other woody weeds like gorse and blackberry. Some self-seeded native plants are already established under the protection of the willows.
Kingfishers live and nest in the willows. You might see one today.
Volunteers come every month to tackle weeds and long grass. They replant the cleared patches with suitable native plants. Look out for signs of their work along this section of the walk.
Can you find this plant ?
Can you see this bird ?
Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus miles
Self introduced from Australia the first breeding pair was seen in Southland in the 1930s, the spur-winged plover is now found throughout New Zealand in open country pastures, wetland margins and estuaries.
They are known to live to 16 years old.
Despite their name they are not a Plover but a Lapwing.