Upcoming Events

Friends of Kew Bush - Sycamore Control

7 October 2023

Seeking brave souls to tackle mature Sycamore trees! Starting at 9.00am at Kew Bush Picnic Ground.

Plan is to drill these trees so it shouldn’t be too labor intensive - however they are on rough ground!

The trees are located on the west side of the bush, and there are approximately 2 dozen.

A battery pack drill with a sharp ~10mm bit will be useful kit, and overalls are recommended.

If you don’t have a drill but are still willing to help - we could really use you, it’s helpful to work in pairs - with a second person handling the herbicide - the more the merrier!

Sycamore are a real threat to the long term health of the bush - it’ll be great to knock them off.

Hope to see you there!

Planting Day - Kowhai Reach

27 October 2023

When: 10 am - 1 pm, 27 October 2023

Where: Kowhai Reach - access is via Chris and Charleen Withy’s farm (134 Bemore-Kauana Road). Access will be via the tanker access which is located 1.2 km north of the house at: We will likely park near the dairy shed and then carpool to reduce the number of vehicles crossing the farm, please bring a 4x4 if you can as the paddock could still be a bit sticky this time of the year.

What: We have 600 trees to plant, so please tell all your friends, the more the merrier! You will need to bring your own spade, work gloves and wear practical clothing and sensible shoes for the weather and activity. Also bring personal gear you may need such as any medicine, water bottle, sunhat, snacks/packed lunch. Please do not bring dogs and if bringing any children they need to supervised at all times as we will be on a working farm with the usual hazards plus a planting along a steep-sided streambank.

Who: This event is open to anyone who is interested, please let your catchment group coordinator or myself know if you intend to come so we can get a basic idea of numbers for the day. Jesse Bythell (Southland QEII rep) 020 400 32109 Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Why: Kowhai Reach is a rare ecosystem protected for over 40 years by local farmers. Supplementary planting will give the forest a boost to ensure it has a long and healthy future. You can learn a bit more about the site here:

PLEASE NOTE: there is a also a Southland Ecological Restoration Network (SERN) field trip to Kowhai Reach on 11 November which you are also welcome to attend. For more information about this other event follow this link and scroll down to “SERN Spring Field Trip - A Meander through Central Southland”:

SERN Spring Field Trip - A Meander through Central Southland

11 November 2023

Time: 9am depart Feldwick Gates, Queens Park; return 5pm.

10.00am: Visit Cowie’s farm for a walk along riparian restoration plantings with threatened species among the riparian ecosystems. Commentary from QEII Southland Rep, Jesse Bythell.

Hear about limestone ecosystems, especially the Cowie Covenant with several rare species.

Discussion on protection and restoration of small forest remnants in the area by those in the know as the bus meanders.

12.00pm: Lunch at Otapiri Hall

View drone footage of meandering Kowhai Reach by Margie Ruddenklau.

Lunchtime speakers include: Southland District Council - Kowhai Reach - plans, visions; Makarewa & Oreti Catchment groups; Environment Southland Enviroschools Team

2.00pm: Kowhai Reach

General discussion at the entrance along with a very short loop walk through the restored area. A longer paddock walk for the fit folks to a second planting site. For those staying with the bus – Mark Sutton (QEII) leads discussion on the social history of the area.

Hear the views of Limehills School, Thriving Southland (Oreti Catchment Group) and others on future restoration plantings.

Please bring your own lunch and beverages. Toilet available at the hall.

RSVP for bus numbers to Edith Jones Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Southland Ecological Restoration Network • A Network of Southland Community Conservation Projects (

Thank you to Environment Southland for generously funding the bus.

Past Events

OLG's Bushy Point Annual Planting Day 2023

9 September 2023

The Otatara Landcare Group’s annual planting day continues to restore the Bushy Point DOC Reserve. Having successfully achieved the goal of joining the two previously isolated forest remnants over twenty years of restoration plantings, more natives in the ground year on year ensure the ongoing improvement and long term security of this important coastal forest ecosystem. Watch here for further details closer to the planting date.

Friends of Kew Bush - Weed control Working Bee

2 September 2023

Celebrate spring, by spending time in the bush! Starting at 9.00am, gathering at the Kew Bush Picnic area. We are on a mission to clear a NEW area of weeds so that it can be planted this autumn. The main issues are Ivy and Aluminum Weed, Bonus: they’re not spikey.

Bring some treats to share at the end, along will some gloves and your choice of cutting tool. For more details on this project go to

Rural Women Castledowns Wetland Working Bee

26 August 2023

We are having a planting day on Sunday and will be there at 10am ready to put trees in the ground, weed existing trees and finish off the afternoon with cups of tea. If you would like to turn up later please feel free to arrive when it suits to 900 Dipton Mossburn Road.

We would love you to come and help us and see what has been happening in the area in the last few months. The only thing that will hold us back will be if it is very wet and we can’t cross the stream. Usually the weather in Dipton is better than in Invercargill.

For further details contact Ann Irving, phone 027 656 9319

Check this project out at

Forest & Bird's Te Rere Annual Planting Day

19 August 2023

Te Rere is Southland Forest & Bird’s major restoration project which has been going for many decades. The coastline at Waikawa is habitat for the endangered hoiho (yellow eyed penguin). As well as extensive restoration plantings, intensive predator control is also undertaken. Although the hoiho numbers have been declining, believed to be due to changing ocean conditions, it is pleasing that little blue penguins and titi breeding numbers are increasing on the mainland here. If you would like to join this year’s planting day, please contact Brian Rance by emailing Enable JavaScript to view protected content.. Check this project out at