Work Day Reminder, February 19 2022
The next monthly work day will be from 9.00am – noon this coming Saturday.
Please scan the QR code at the door of the Education Centre or fill out a contact tracing form. Presentation of a Covid vaccine pass is not required. Morning tea will be structured to avoid close contact.
On the work day we will be releasing plants from the forest of convolvulus between driveway in and the boundary. If plans change and you arrive late there will be a notice on the Education Centre door saying where we have gone.
All tools provided. It may be wet underfoot, so gumboots are advised. If you don’t own any we do have some for loan. Please bring your own gloves.
Report on Last Work Day, 15 January
The weather was mild, cloudy and perfect for our task of weeding recent plantings beside the Inwoods Road entrance to the wetland. Our group of 16 trudged around the main track to find a sea of tall weed flower-heads obscuring the young native plants.
The area has dry sandy soil and it has been hard to establish new plants there. However, a quick look through the weeds showed that many of the natives were doing very well, particularly matagouri, lawyer and cassinia. This success reflects the hard work of volunteers, including the IDEAS team, who watered by hand during the dry autumn of 2021. A thick mulch layer and a wet spring have also helped.
The area was an easy one to work in, with no hidden logs or deep bogs. The number of weed species was very high and luckily Colin Meurk was on hand to help us identify them. Some had delightful old names like black medic, haresfoot trefoil and shepherd’s purse. Garden escapees were well represented as the entrance way has private properties on each side. Exotic tree saplings, gladioli, and periwinkle were accompanied by edibles like pumpkin, grape and nasturtium. Colin is knowledgeable about edible weeds too and some of us sampled a little prickly lettuce (not for the faint hearted) and sheep’s sorrel. It was satisfying to remove small specimens of noxious weeds like blackberry, mallow and old man’s beard before they spread too far.
At the end of the morning the area had been transformed and the healthy native plants provided a great entrance to the wetland. A few self-seeded kōwhai and ngaiō had been found beneath the weeds and these should provide further enhancement.
Back at the Education Centre there was plenty of rehydration and refuelling. The highlight was Eleanor’s orange cake to celebrate Colin’s birthday. Thanks everyone.
Article: Sue Britain, Images: Grahame
World Wetlands Day Petition
This year, to commemorate World Wetlands Day, Forest & Bird and ten other organisations are calling on the Prime Minister to double the extent of natural wetlands in Aotearoa by 2050:
Why are we running this campaign? Because… Every Wetland Counts He Puipuiaki Ia Rohe Kōreporepo!
Wetlands are climate heroes – they can store large amounts of carbon and increase climate resilience to floods. Globally, peat wetlands hold twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests. And coastal wetlands can store carbon up to 57 times faster than a tropical forest.
You can read more about this campaign in our brochure.
Healthy wetlands can support a healthy climate, provide for community as mahinga kai food gathering places, and are home to thriving populations of native birds and fish.
But instead we are seeing this Government erase wetland protections to allow for more mining, quarrying, and water storage. How can they do that when so few wetlands are left?
That’s why we are calling on the Government to make an Aotearoa New Zealand Wetland Protection and Restoration Plan.
This will need ambitious, measurable, and enforceable regional targets so we can know how the Government will protect and restore historic wetlands to take carbon out of the atmosphere as well as physically protecting us from the effects of climate change.
Will you sign the petition demanding action to double the wetlands and protect every wetland left?
Wayne’s Wednesday Volunteers
Keeping pathways accessible, continual clearing weeds from around plants, (in spite of some really hot days as well as several wet days) the group continues to enjoy their work. Removal of a patch of ivy climbing happily way up a willow saw one of our group determined that it wouldn’t win; swing from rope like stems to remove it!
The worst weeds showing at present are burdock, convolvulus, pink flowering mallow, periwinkle and on the dunes and tree lupins and campion. A new weed in dry sandy spots is purslane; supposed to be very nutritious and tasty.
As well as the Beach Road area, Mairehau Rd car park and surrounds doesn’t miss out either — plants are watered, convolvulus is removed as are other weeds; also rubbish left by the public. Pūkeko and gulls investigate the rubbish, as often there are the remains of food, not suitable for birds.
All this work benefits the Wetland and provides great satisfaction for Beryl, Diane, (with her granddaughter Lauren some days during school holidays), Eleanor, John, Pat, Shona and Wayne. A great group of like minded people are rewarded; watching white faced heron’s parents bringing in food for their young and watching the young fly for the first time from their elm tree nest. Seeing admiral butterfly caterpillars on nettle and then viewing them in their chrysalis (at least 20 on the plant this year). Watching the care that parent ducks give to their young.
Walkers also express their gratitude for the way the Wetland is cared for.
Article and images: Eleanor Bissell
World Wetlands Day Walk
On the evening of World Wetlands Day (2 Feb) the Trust hosted a short guided walk from Clarevale Reserve to Anne Flanagan Dell and back. Eleanor and Dave talked about the history of the wetland and pointed out the restoration sites along the way.
Thanks to the ten or so people who came along to help us celebrate the value of wetlands and Travis Wetland in particular.
We are grateful for the continued input of Conservation Volunteers at the Wetland.
On their recent visit they cleared large amounts of convolvulus, used cardboard to smother a small area of weeds and removed lots of blackberry plants at part of the Totara Mataī Forest.