Want in on the Action?! Here’s what’s been happening in the world of weeds at the Heads…
Supporting Landowners and Volunteers
In January, another annual event was conducted for residents with the invasive ground cover Tradescantia fluminensis to collect their own population of bio-control beetles Neolema ogloblini aka ‘Shiny’ from our nursery site for translocation. Five hundred beetles were harvested and translocated to other areas at the Heads. If you are interested in your own population of Shiny beetles as a control agent to keep Tradescantia at bay, then please get in touch for next year.
Two weed events were coordinated on private land this year and we would like to make this an annual goal to support landowners that may need some help breaking the weed burden. In the future, we would like landowners to consider a 50/50 agreement to either match the volunteer hours provided or with funds to go towards additional weed contractor control on their property. Residents would be welcome to nominate themselves or others who they think may appreciate a working-bee and the additional advice, training and resources that goes along with a coordinated event.
Parua Bay Privet Buffer
We are almost one year into our Parua Bay Privet Buffer project and we’re thrilled by the commitment of residents and resulting action to significantly reduce the seed burden for next year. We have found the increased support to landowners to be a major barrier to action removed, and in total 11 landowners have agreed to match contractor control work with their own funds or effort. In a neighbourhood network 105Ha in size, a total of 362.5 hours from landowners and contractors has gone towards controlling tree privet, with a major focus to kill large seeding trees. Landowners in this area are on the front line of this battle and are actively responsible for halting the spread of this weed to the rest of the Heads. This is the first year of a 5-year plan so keep watching this space!
Work on Public Conservation Land (PCL)
Weed Action was fortunate enough to gain funding from the Department of Conservation’s Community Funds last financial year and with that we brought Mike Urlich to our team. With the addition of this new role and Mike’s expertise, we were able to extend our reach to engage the community for support and increase our scope to include new areas of conservation land that need attention. Mike’s focus was to scope the weed infestations at the four maunga: Kauri Mountain, Reotahi, Bream Head/Te Whara & Mt Manaia to produce management strategies and weed plans. He was successful with tapping into various external funding streams to support key landowners whose properties border these reserves and have contiguous forest that are threatened by invasive weeds. Also, there is now additional support going to the wonderful volunteers that work in or close to these reserves and Mike has been great at ‘joining the dots’ by linking individual residents working in their corner of the Heads to work as a more cohesive and supported network. Work continues for Weed Action to highlight the degradation of our native forests on PCL due to invasive pest plants – especially for Reotahi & Mt Manaia – and to secure funding to stop further spread.
Removing Barriers to ACTION!
A moth plant amnesty bin was in place at the Parua Bay Community Centre for 6 weeks from the start of June and it was well utilised. During this period, our community collected an estimate of 8,000 – 9,500 of mature pods that would have otherwise burst open & spread seed all over the peninsular. Who knows how many of these seeds would have been blown into the less accessible areas of Bream Head, Mount Manaia, Reotahi or Kauri Mountain where gaining access is more difficult. Next year, please remember that moth plant control is best carried out around January when in flower – making it more visible, and BEFORE pods start to develop.
Newly Established Ritchie Road Weed Action Group
It’s early days, but we’re working towards restoring the Ritchie Rd Coastal Reserve and we’re hoping to grow the support for this mahi. Many of our properties border this reserve and are impacted by the weed seeds that are dispersed from it. Species such as taiwan cherry, monkey apple, tree privet, phoenix palm & cotoneaster to name a few are spreading, and we want to eliminate this seed source. The next event is October 16th & will involve a weeding session followed by a neighbourhood BBQ. To get involved or register your interest please see links below to make contact.
Other Weed Action Groups on WDC Reserves
There are residents conducting weed control at Tamaterau, Reotahi, Darch Point, McLeod Bay ‘Green’, Bream Head, Ritchie Rd & Ocean Beach reserves and last financial year these volunteers contributed 1,376.5 hours – equating to $34,412.50 of added value to control some of the worst environmental weed species at the Heads. We are grateful for this work and strive to provide volunteers with what is required to get the job done effectively & safely. We ensure that at least one person from every group has Growsafe certification and First Aid training and have the materials to keep up momentum.
We are always looking for more support from residents to restore their local reserves. Higher participation takes the pressure off our regular volunteers – who quite often volunteer across many sites – and ensures our unique landscapes are protected in the long term. Plant ID and control method training is provided by our experienced coordinators and learning is an ever-evolving discussion during the session as we share our experiences with each other. Most involved are there for the social enrichment equally as much as the restoration work and we welcome all who would like to join us. For more details visit: www.weedaction.org.nz/get-involved/
For additional weed control advice or to keep up on the action, see our website or Facebook page for details: www.weedaction.org.nz or make contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kelly Maxwell on 021 02332005.