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Past Events

Thompsons Bush Discovery Day

26 January 2023

Join this World Wetlands Day celebration, at any time between 10.00am and 2.00m. Explore and learn about this kahikatea forest in the centre of town. Follow the flags to meet at the Event Hub.

Free to all. Sausage sizzle.

Run by Environment Southland and Invercargill City Council.

SERN Fiordland Focus Weekend

18 - 20 November 2022

Thanks to everyone who helped to make our SERN Fiordland Focus weekend in November such a success. We began on the Friday night with a presentation from Paul and Lynley King, of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust (sadly Trust Chairman,John Whitehead, was indisposed.) John and Lynley’s enthusiasm for their task in pest eradication on both Pomona and Rona, in the face of both mice and rat incursions this year, was inspiring. Lynley’s interest in the lizard life on the islands adds another dimension to the Trust’s work there. We were left with a feeling of great anticipation for the boat ride to the islands the next day. Saturday dawned fine and pleasant, lending itself nicely to both the Home Creek vist, where Edith Jones outlined the development of the restoration project there, followed by planting/planting maintenance, and the alternative activity - the boat ride across Manapouri. With conditions being perfect, we were able to get off the boat at both Pomona and Rona. It was very interesting to see the techniques the Pomona Trust was using for their predator control, with maze boxes for traps and bait, automatic lure dispensers and night cameras, all helping to control pests and record what’s happening when no-one’s there. The Saturday afternoon began with an update from Anna Harris, Environment Southland Biodiversity team, also Walter Fielde from the ES Pest Plant team. These were followed by talks on the work of Fiordland Trails Trust (Tony Ciaffoni) and Jobs for Nature cotoneaster & barberry control programme ( Sue Marwick),Te Kōawa Mahinga Kai Restoration (Vanessa Horwell), Wilding Pine Control at Mid Dome (Richard Bowman), Forest & Bird’s Te Rere and Otatara Landcare Group’s Bushy Point (Brian Rance), Reforest Southland (Josie Blackshaw), along with an overview from Pete McLelland on animal pest control. At the DOC Te Anau Auditorium that evening we heard briefly from DOC Senior Community Ranger, Crystal Brindle, about the many groups that are working in the Fiordland area, which were displayed on a map. The main speaker for the evening, Campbell Leckie, gave an entertaining update on Predator Free Rakiura. Sunday morning saw us visit the Lower Upukerora Restoration site to hear from George Ledgard about the predator control and education programme the group are working on there, along with Anja Kohler, who does regular bird monitoring of the area. The final stop was at Rakatu where Roger Hodson, recently appointed Waiau Trust field officer (replacing the long serving Mark Sutton), accompanied us for a walk along the top of the ridge, looking out over the wetlands that are well established now, with much natural regeneration.

Thanks go to Environment Southland for their sponsorship of the Fiordland Focus Weekend.

OLG's Bushy Point Big Planting Day

11 September 2022

Join the annual planting day for the Otatara Landcare Group’s Bushy Point Restoration project and help get another 1,000 trees planted. This will bring the total to over 30,000 natives in the ground, so that where there was rough pasture there is now a regenerating forest with bird song, lizards and insects for all to enjoy.

Where: Entrance off No: 5 Bryson Road (Estuary end) When: Arrive 9.50 a.m. for a 10 a.m. start… FREE BBQ from 12 noon

What we need you to bring: • Gardening gloves • Spade (narrow ones are best to dig planting holes) • Appropriate footwear and clothing for the conditions • Drink Bottle

We will provide hand sanitiser, soap and water. If you feel at all unwell, please stay at home!

Southland F&B's Te Rere Planting Day

20 August 2022

The annual planting day at Forest & Bird’s Te Rere yellow eyed penguin sanctuary is a full day out in the field, with 500 natives generally being planted, as well as a general look around the area. As the site is remote, car pooling is undertaken. If you would like to join the day, please contact Brian Rance at Enable JavaScript to view protected content.. Check out Te Rere here under projects in Eastern Southland.

SERN Autumn Field Trip - Sandy Point Domain

14 May 2022

The day began at the Oreti Links building with Sheryll Ashton, ICC Parks and Recreation Landscape Planner, explaining that ICC had contracted Boffa Miskell to bring together a Master Plan for Sandy Point for the next 30-50 years and it would be from this that the management plan would develop. Sheryll gave an overview of the Sandy Point area, which encompasses about 2,000ha of land, commenting that it was important to a lot of groups recreationally, as well as having some high ecological values, along with the exotic pine plantations and marram grass, which had been used in the past to enable sand stabilisation. She then asked us to write down our thoughts as to where we would like to see the area going in the future and these notes would be taken back to those pulling together ideas and recommendations for future management. Plenty of discussion followed with over 80 thoughts being noted.

Following lunch we ventured out, firstly to the area opposite the Mountain Bike Car Park. Lloyd Esler spoke about the fungi found here ( an introduced bolete associated with pine), before we walked down along the Oreti River. It was good to see a native remnant, the saltmarsh ribbonwood (Plagianthus divaricatus). Sheryll explained that the current policy for the ICC was to remove the older exotic trees along the river edge over time and replant with natives.

It was then on to the Rover Track, where we had visited on a SERN trip in 2005. At that point pines had been removed not long since and some native plantings had been undertaken, along with natural regeneration being in evidence. There was discussion about the idea of native screen plantings along the track, leaving the areas behind to regenerate naturally over time, with gorse and broom potentially becoming a nurse crop.

A stop at Daffodil Bay gave naturalist, Lloyd Esler the chance to explain that our biodiversity values are not just threatened locally, explaining that the migration of the godwit and other northern hemisphere birds was declining due to alterations to the habitats they stop over at in Korea and China.

The final stop was at Christies Track, by the Oreti Beach. Here Brian Rance, DOC botanist, described the high value of the Sandy Point area, which had totara forests on sand dunes, a nationally rare ecosystem. Along with that was the dune system and wetland systems, making it a diverse environment. A walk to the beach revealed a specimen of pingao, whether planted or naturally occuring was unknown, however the vision of a section of the dunes beachside being returned to pingao was one many felt worthy of pursuing.

Thanks to Sheryll for her running of the day and to all those who contributed along the way. Also thanks to ICC for the use of the Links building.