Travis Wetland Monthly Newsletter January 2021

Travis Wetland Trust

Work Day Reminder, Jan 16 2021

Travis Wetland Location Map
Travis Wetland Location Map

The next Travis work day, is Saturday January 16, 9 am – 12:00pm.

Meet at the Education Centre (the old farm house) near the Beach Rd car park at 9 am. Click on the adjacent location map for a more detailed view.

I’m not sure what we’ll be doing, so I’m hoping for a nice surprise. When we leave the Education Centre to work elsewhere in the wetland a notice board in the porch will indicate where we have gone, if it’s not obvious. Please join us.

All tools provided. It may be wet underfoot, so gumboots are advised. If you don’t own any we do have some for loan.

World Wetlands Day Walk, 2 February

To celebrate World Wetlands Day on Tuesday 2 February we will be guiding an evening walk at Travis Wetland starting at 6.30pm from the Education Centre. Please come and join us for a look at the wetland in the cool of the evening when the lighting makes it more attractive than usual (fingers crossed for decent weather).

After the walk there will be a cuppa at the Education Centre and a slide show highlighting some of the varied fauna and flora of the wetland.

Latest News

Last Work Day, 19 December 2020

Work Day Dec 2020

This fine sunny morning saw close to 20 people opting out of the Christmas rush and coming to help out with our conservation efforts instead. As with our November workday we were based at the Clarevale western edge of the wetland.

Pupils from Waitākiri School had planted some new trees and shrubs in the area a couple of weeks earlier. This was a planting session delayed by Covid lockdowns and was not the best time of year for plant survival. A long spell of dry conditions was giving further stress.

Work Day Dec 2020

The weather was very warm and we started early with hoses from friendly neighbouring properties to our team of bucket carriers. The area most needing water was a bush island at the edge of Clarevale Park, which had been an infill planting area for the school. We did our best to get plenty of water to the new plants as, unfortunately, some were looking pretty dehydrated.

Most of the morning was spent in the more shaded area at the western boundary. Some people did a sterling job removing convolvulus and other weeds from the eastern side of the area. Others did some releasing around smaller plants and weed-eaters were employed where the terrain permitted.

Some recent, and even more established, plants were showing signs of stress from the dry conditions. Large-leafed Hebes and Pittosporums seemed to be the most affected. Fortified by cool fruit drinks we spent the last part of the morning carrying buckets of water over long distances to try and give as many young plants as possible a water top-up.

Work Day BBQ Dec 2020
Work Day BBQ Dec 2020

Conditions were very hot by lunch time and everyone was happy to return to the Education Centre for refreshments. Al and Denise had done a fantastic job on the barbeque and we soon demolished most of the hot food and salads. Relaxing around the picnic tables was a good time to reflect on our good fortune to be able to spend time together without restrictions.

Thanks to all who came to help. We look forward to seeing you again in 2021 – the convolvulus is still growing !

Article Sue Britain, Images: Eleanor Bissell and Grahame

New Year’s Honour for Colin Meurk

Colin Meurk
Dr Colin Meurk, ONZM

Travis Wetland Trust President, Dr Colin Meurk, was recently made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to ecological restoration. We can certainly vouch for those services as Colin has been President of the Trust since its inception 30 years ago next year. Colin was instrumental in the saving of Travis Swamp from a future as a housing subdivision. Moreover, Colin has contributed to many valuable restoration projects all over the city and it’s not uncommon for him to have two or more meetings per night!

Congratulation Colin, it’s wonderful to see you get the recognition you deserve. We are honoured to have the experience and wisdom you bring to the restoration of Travis Wetland.

Article: Dave Evans, Image: Grahame

Car break-ins at Travis

Recently thieves have been targeting cars in the Education Centre (main) car park, smashing windows to grab anything inside that takes their fancy. Two cars were broken into on the evening of the last Trust board meeting and a few items stolen. Some of their blood was spilled and it’s hoped this will help track the offenders down.

Take care to not leave any attractive looking items visible in your car when you park there. We hope that the current spate of break-ins passes soon and our peace of mind will be restored.

Article: Dave Evans

National Wetland Trust of NZ

National Wetland Trust

Travis Wetland Trust is a member of the National Wetland Trust. The National Wetland Trust (NWT) – is a non-profit organisation established in 1999 to increase the appreciation of wetlands and their values by all New Zealanders.

Other aims are to:

  • Increase public knowledge and appreciation of wetland values
  • Increase understanding of wetland functions and processes
  • Ensure landowners and government agencies commit to wetland protection, enhancement and restoration

The NWT is developing a National Wetland Discovery Centre at Rotopiko / Lake Serpentine near Hamilton. It will be a wildlife sanctuary with research and educational facilities, wetland gardens and heritage trails. Pest eradication and habitat restoration is already creating a safe haven for native wildlife, including North Island fernbird, spotless crake, Australasian bittern and long-tailed bats.

The Centre will promote wetland types from across New Zealand, and highlight our place in the world with respect to wetlands. This will be a place to excite, inspire, and call our community to positive action for our precious and fascinating wetland habitats.

They also publish a newsletter for members ($45 waged, $25 unwaged) that is a mine of interesting information on wetlands. For example:

Paludiculture Talk

Paludiculture, the re-wetting of formerly drained peatlands and sustainably harvesting native wetland plants and trees, is the key to economic use (and restoration for use) of wetlands, with huge benefits for carbon sequestration and to reduce nutrient and sediment run-off.

Paludiculture is not something I had ever heard of before. But Kiwi Brian Sorrell gives an interesting talk on it (from his home in Denmark) in a video on the National Wetland Trust website. He says paludiculture is vital to meeting our climate change mitigation targets.

Recent Images

Cave Weta, Pleioplectron simplex
Cave Weta, Pleioplectron simplex (Image: Kenny Rose)
Mallard / Grey Duck hybrid
Mallard / Grey Duck hybrid
Common Poppy, Papaver rhoeas
Common Poppy, Papaver rhoeas
Ichneumonidae, wasp
Ichneumonidae, wasp

Images: Grahame, except where noted