Whareroa Update 19 July 2012
Planting is this Sunday, 22nd July 9 to noon.
We will be doing various "bits" including giving planters some bigger trees eg kohekohe to go and find good positions in amongst the established initial plantings. This is "secondary" planting with plants which need protection.
There is also more planting to do in the Dell and possibly along the Ti Kouka Stream and past Matai Bush, depending upon how the morning pans out.
The last planting bee on 1st July completed initial protection along the northern edge of Matai Bush using Coprosma propinqua. The bare trunks indicate wind damage. Infill planting along the Ti Kouka Stream to further the World Wildlife Fund project was done, as well as planting swamp maire by Matai Bush. Sue, Liffet and Bill had a prickly, muddy time clearing blackberry. Theo, Paul, John, Joe and Louise risked life and limb getting right into the middle of the dead gorse. Those plants will have lots of nitrogen and shelter to get a good start.
Many thanks to: Mary Beggs, Jean McCallan, Robyn Hayward, Ian Redward, Dawn Bush, Kieran & Ruby Durrant-Bush, Rosie, Theo & Alex Barsanti, Dick Caldwell, Sue Blaikie, Bill Jansen, Peter Kentish, Liffet Stewart, Ann Evans, Fred & June & John Rowland, Paul Callister, Tony Griffiths, Joe Clarkson and Louise, and Laura van Peer. Chris & Max Wootton & Alexander McManus possumed. It is great to have Laura and June nourishing us with morning tea and lunch BBQ ; hot dogs have been particularly tasty this year thanks to Laura's feijoa chutney and onions. And thanks to those volunteers who go in regularly at other times to clear plants, cut gorse and grub thistles.
Activity on the Farm. Lots has been happening on the farm. The Community Workers planted about 200 trees on the northern slope of the Dell. A ditch to prevent erosion of the race descending to the gums, with a culvert at the bottom, is under way, along with improvement to drainage on the "Horse Track". Thanks DOC. Possums are being culled in good numbers by Chris Wootton. The major capital investment by DOC this year is the new septic tank system being installed at the entrance, with a soak away system into the paddock.
A reminder to horse riders that at present they should only use the "Horse Track" at the far end of Carex Valley for both up and down movement to Campbell's Mill Rd. They should not use the new Link Track or the steep "Downhill Track". Hoof marks and skids on those tracks have appeared and in these wet conditions significant track damage will occur. We hope that in the next year a full circuit will be provided for horses (and trampers), using the East Ridge (just south of the current "Downhill Track"); volunteers have been doing preparatory gorse clearing and working out the route for this.
Grazed Part of Farm Closed. All grazed sections of the farm are closed for lambing/calving until 30 September. This includes the "Cairn View Track".
Bird monitoring - this has occurred regularly for the last year, thanks to Helen Griffiths. 35 birds have now been recorded: Bellbird, Blackback gull, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Eastern rosella, Falcon, Fantail, Feral pigeon, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Grey warbler, Harrier hawk, House sparrow, Kereru, Kingfisher, Little (?black) shag, Magpie, Mallard, Morepork, Paradise shellduck, Pheasant, Pukeko, Redpoll, Silvereye, Shining cuckoo, Skylark, Spurwinged plover, Starling, Sulphur crested cockatoo, Swallow, Thrush, Tui, White faced heron and Yellow hammer. If you see another species, please let us know. Also, if anyone sees the shags again, close up, can they let us know what colour beaks they have to clarify the species.
Marine's visit – one of the 1942 Marines recently visited the farm with his girlfriend from Paekakariki from that time and they each had their children with them. His daughter from the US showed us photos of the camp in the main valley taken from the top of the hill by the entrance. We hope to get copies for the archives. John Porter and Anthony Dreaver showed them around and gathered interesting memories.
Rugby Legends Planting Sat 11th August. 2,500 trees to go in !!!
Schools will be planting on the 10th. If you can help on the Thurs/Fri please contact Amy Brasch at DOC firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 04 470 8409 or M: 022 074 2317 (thanks to those of you who offered last time before it was postponed, please let Amy know if you can still help).
The Rugby Legends organisers would like volunteers to sign up for this on their website, for catering purposes; to register visit the webpage and click on "register for this event" button: www.livinglegends.co.nz/horowhenua-kapiti-planting/