Travis Wetland Monthly Newsletter October 2019

Travis Wetland Trust

TFC Planting Day Reminder, Oct 19 2019

Travis Wetland Location Map
Travis Wetland Location Map

The next Travis work day, is Saturday October 19 2019, 9 am – 12:30.

Meet at the Education Centre (the old farm house) near the Beach Rd car park at 9 am.

After the big planting day last month we are back to the normal work day schedule. As usual the work will be followed by morning tea at the Education Centre.

When we leave the Education Centre to work somewhere around the wetland a notice board in the porch will indicate where we have gone, if it’s not obvious.

All tools provided. It’s liable to be very wet underfoot, so gumboots will be essential. If you don’t own any we do have some for loan.

Latest News

TFC Planting Day, Saturday 21 September

After three wet work days in a row we were very pleased to get a beautiful day for the big Spring planting day in September. Trees for Canterbury donate many plants for this day and promote it to their network of supporters so there is always a really big turn out and this year was no exception.

Trees for Canterbury planting day Sept 2019
Trees for Canterbury planting day Sept 2019

The rangers and helpers from the Trust had set out the plants over the days before the event, so that was a task that didn’t have to be rushed on the Saturday morning. That was great because it was really hectic as the 250+ volunteers poured onto the site from just before 10am.

The planting was over with pretty quickly and the hungry workers headed back to the Education Centre for a BBQ. Many thanks to everyone who helped make the day such a success and especially to Trees for Canterbury for the donation of so many fabulous plants.

Article Dave Evans and image Grahame Bell

The Breeze Walking Festival at Travis

Travis Wetland has been the venue for 2 festival events this year. On 1st October ranger John Skilton lead an evening walk entitled A Forest for the Future. After a rather damp day the weather rapidly improved and 20 people, many first time visitors, arrived from across town and further afield.

Walking Festival group
Walking Festival group

John took us off the main circuit walk to the southern forest area near Travis Road. He explained that planting in this area commenced in 2006 and had been progressing in a northerly direction since, to give a total planted area of around 6 hectares. This is similar in size to Riccarton Bush. John pointed out specific areas and the year they were planted, often by large volunteer groups. After the earthquakes the area changed considerably, becoming very wet in winter. This has been challenging for existing trees and for ongoing planting plans. However, there were plenty of fine trees on view including some impressive mataī, tōtara and kahikatea.

Our walk to and from the forest area provided ample opportunity for discussion and bird-watching. John spoke about weed and pest problems and demonstrated the various duck species at the wetland. The late evening light was delightful and provided my favourite view of a pied stilt reflected in golden water.

Thanks John for an informative walk, and to our visitors – we hope you will drop by again.

Biketober calls at Travis Wetland
Biketober event at Travis Wetland

On Sunday 6th October another event, The Generation Game, was held to encourage people of all ages to walk the loop track around the wetland. Families could walk around the track, stopping on the way to try out a variety of activities from across the decades. On return to the Education Centre lawn there were numerous activities available for those with any energy left. Travis was also a destination for Biketober, with participants cycling to Travis. Representatives of The Pūkeko Centre were present, keen to explain their pre-schoolers nature activity programme at Travis which will soon commence on Thursdays. Travis Wetland Trust members were impressed with the turnout of families and the opportunity to chat with them. A barbeque was provided and Al did a great job cooking as usual. We estimate around 70 sausages were demolished and we were pleased to see everyone enjoying the sunny morning.

Article Sue Britain images: Karyn Durham and Denise Ford

Spring Flowers

Another sign of spring is the many flowers appearing at Travis, including these Common Daisies (Bellis perennis) observed near the Education Centre by Grahame Bell in September. I don’t remember ever seeing a multi-headed flower as on the right in the image.

Common daisy
Common daisy

Many related plants also share the name “daisy”, so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is sometimes qualified as common daisy, lawn daisy or English daisy. Historically, it has also been commonly known as bruisewort and occasionally woundwort. Bellis perennis is native to western, central and northern Europe, but widely naturalised in most temperate regions including the Americas and Australasia. The species habitually colonises lawns, and is difficult to eradicate by mowing – hence the term ‘lawn daisy’. Wherever it appears it is often considered an invasive weed. Presumably by those who like their lawns to be a mono-culture – not me. As a child I remember making necklaces from these daisies. Thanks to Wikipedia for the information.

Bird's-eye Speedwell
Bird’s-eye Speedwell
Dove's foot Crane's Bill
Dove’s foot Crane’s Bill

Article Dave Evans and images Grahame Bell

Travis AGM

A reminder that the Travis Wetland Trust Annual General Meeting will be held at 7pm on Thursday 24th October. As usual the venue is the Travis Wetland Education Centre (280 Beach Rd). Following the AGM Nick Head will speak on the Ecological Emergency declared by the CCC. Nick is a plant ecologist working for the Christchurch City Council. In 2013 Nick was awarded the Loder Cup, NZ’s most prestigious conservation award. The AGM will be followed by supper. Everyone welcome, please come!