Upcoming Events

5 Minute Bird Count Course

16 - 17 October 2018

What: 5 Minute Bird Count Course

Where: Southland Community Nursery

When: 16th and 17th October

Identify a range of common forest birds using the Department of Conservation 5 minute bird count protocol.

You will learn how to identify a range of common forest birds using the Department of Conservation five-minute protocol (5MBC). You will learn how to establish a consistency of data collection, recording and storage and to make the data available for analysis, reporting and subsequent business planning within the required timeframe. The 5MBC course is based on the Dawson and Bull field method. This course uses innovative techniques, such as an online programme and pre-recorded bird calls, to help you identify common forest bird species. This course covers unit standard 26373.

Register here

Past Events

Matariki in the Maara

17 June 2018

Kai Oranga Mataura invite you to an Matariki Open Day at the Mataura Marae.

1pm - 4pm 17th June 2018

The day will include information about the marae native nursery and restoration project as well as competitions and workshops. Click here for the event flyer and competition entry forms.

For more information contact Angela Mills Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

SERN Autumn Field day - Kew Bush and Bowmans Bush

26 May 2018

Despite the weather, a hardy group gathered at Kew Bush to celebrate the work of Allan McPherson and John Tait and their fellow Invercargill South Lions Club members over the last 15 years, helping to return the kahikatea forest to health. Over that time they have undertaken a war on holly and other weeds in the bush, propagated and planted natives back in to the open areas, carried out animal pest control and maintained the tracks so other people could enjoy the area. With Allan and John now stepping back from the work, and the South Invercargill Lions Club closing, Jesse Bythell, our local QEII rep, talked about setting up a Friends of Kew Bush to carry on the good work. She said she envisaged 3 or 4 working bees a year involving a range of acitivities like planting, weed and pest control and track maintenance. If this is something you feel you could help with, please contact Jesse, Enable JavaScript to view protected content. She will be setting up an email list to let people know when these events will be happening.

The second part of our afternoon was at Bowmans Bush, Otatara. Again in the rain we celebrated the Bowman family’s contribution through the protection of this sand dune forest remnant, with the unveiling of a sign organised by QEII National Trust. The legacy of appreciation for our native biota has shown out well and true in the grandson of Dr McDonald, who originally set this area aside. His descendent, Richard Bowman, the past Biosecurity Manager at Environment Southland, has been a wonderful supporter of the many groups involved in restoration projects around Southland. The support he had given SERN was recognised at the end of the day at the Rance’s Education Centre, where the SERN members presented Richard with a small gift.

Castledowns Wetland May Working Bee

23 May 2018

Our plans for 2018 are to continue to open up the area and tidy up the work that we have been doing, to find the cabbage trees and to search and destroy the hawthorn trees.

We are able to supply cutting tools and gel for pasting on trees but if you would prefer to bring your own please do. Long gumboots leggings and overalls are a good idea sometimes . We like to stop for afternoon tea so if you have a new creation please bring it along and share.

We are happy for you to come and just enjoy the Wetland

If you would like to share transport from Invercargill or have questions please contact me Ann Irving 2176428 or 0276569319

Please tell all your friends , relations and grandchildren about this special place

Castledowns Wetland April Working Bee

29 April 2018

Our wetland will certainly be very wet at the moment and it would be impossible to get across the Dipton Stream but by the time the field day comes along we hope it will be just a gentle stream to wade across or we will be able to use our temporary bridge.

The date for the next afternoon is the 29th April starting after lunch at 1 -1.30 It will be a good idea to bring long gumboots, parka and leggings if you have them and overalls and gloves are a good idea too. Don’t panic if you do not have these things as water never hurt any of us.

We would like to be able to weed eat the track to the ponds, find the cabbage trees , attack more hawthorns , and get into the flax area and take out some of the weeds such as gorse and broom .

We always like to bring some nice food for afternoon tea and drinks.

The Wetland is on the Dipton Mossburn road at 9km from the Dipton Castlerock road. Take the second turn on the left after crossing the Oreti river bridge. We will need to park on the road at this time of the year.

If you have questions about the day please ring Sandra at 0272707759 , Peter at 032485002 or Virginia at 032182547 .

We are looking forward to getting a good number of people to help so you are most welcome.


24 April 2018

Waimatuku Catchment would like to welcome you all to a field day.


Field day to conclude about 2pm

Bring your own lunch/thermos/wet weather gear etc.

To speak:

Simon Bardon, General Manager, Blueberry Country Southland – an overview of the business and actions on-farm.

Brian Rance, Ecologist, Department of Conservation – The Bayswater Scenic Reserve (known locally as the “Bayswater Bog”, a different perspective on wet-land).

We are very grateful to Simon for offering us the opportunity to hear and see about the Blueberry operation, and also to Brian who has extensive expertise in Southland biodiversity that he is happy to share with us. See below for an article I have found about the Bayswater Bog.

Look forward to seeing you all there. Question or RSVP to us as below.

Graeme Appleby Enable JavaScript to view protected content. and Fiona Young Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Co-chairs, Waimatuku Catchment Group

Rare peat bog ecosystem protected in Southland

Monday, 8 October 2007, 3:13 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

The purchase of an area of peat bog in western Southland is an important ecological investment, protecting threatened flora and fauna that are becoming rare in New Zealand, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

The purchase by the government’s Nature Heritage Fund has added an additional 318 ha of peat bog to the Bayswater Scenic Reserve on the western Southland plains.

The NHF provides financial assistance to public agencies and private individuals to purchase or covenant land with high conservation values.

Mr Carter said the Bayswater peat bog is one of the largest remnants of native vegetation on the Southland plains. But changing land use, for example, with increased dairy farming in the region, was adversely affecting the bog’s ecosystem, its conservation values, in particular, the local peat bog flora and fauna.

“Peat bogs are historically a distinctive part of the ecological character of Southland but in recent years they have been coming under increasing pressure from land development. What’s left of the region’s peat bogs has now become a conservation priority.”

“By adding to the protected part of the peat bog, the long-term viability of this site is assured; it’s now big enough to function in a natural state,” Mr Carter said.

For example, good quality peat bogs capture carbon from the atmosphere and store it, and in this way can act as a carbon sink for long periods of time.

Bayswater farmer Roy Burnett is one of three adjoining former landowners with whom the NHF entered into negotiations, and whose family had farmed the area for more than 100 years.

Mr Burnett said he was pleased to see the peat bog and a significant source of freshwater water protected. “I’m thrilled that the fund has done this as it means the bog will always remain in its natural state.”

Chris Ryan, who also sold a part of the bog, said it was reassuring to know that the area was going to be protected. “It’s good for water quality and preserving it for what it is.”

In October 1993 the Department of Conservation had purchased one-quarter of the bog for protection. This acquisition brings three-quarters of the entire bog under protection for present and future generations.