Past Events

Planting day at the Castledowns Wetland, Dipton

31 October 2021

Starting at 1.30pm, it is that time of year for planting trees in our Wetland. We have spots sprayed and will have 140 trees to plant. We are hoping that we will have plenty of helpers to get the trees into their spots to start growing.

We welcome anyone who would like to come and help to make this a fun day. Please bring your spade to plant, food, and afternoon tea, but if you would just like to join us we would love to see you there.

Go to Dipton, go over the Oreti Bridge at Dipton and take the 2nd turn left on to the Dipton Mossburn road and go 13 km and we are on the right after the road crosses the Dipton Stream on a new Bailey bridge at 900 Dipton Mossburn road

These days are weather dependant as we can not cross the stream if there is heavy rain. If in doubt please ring Ann 027 656 9319

Check this project out at

F&B Southland Te Rere Planting Day

21 August 2021

The annual planting day at Forest & Bird Southland’s long term restoration project on the Catlins Coast gives you the opportunity to visit this wild coast where yellow eyed penguins, little blue penguins and titi come in to nest. Bookings for transport to join the event can be made by emailing Enable JavaScript to view protected content. . Check this project out on the SERN Project Directory, Eastern Southland at

Improve your Predator Control

17 May 2021

Do you want some tips and tricks on how to increase the effectiveness of predator control for your project or community group? We invite you to join us for a presentation and Q&A session with Cam Speedy, a wildlife biologist with over 40 years experience in predator control and ecosystem management.

‘Attention-to-detail’ is Cam’s number one tip for predator control. Cam will share some of his experiences to help make your predator control more effective. Having kit sitting out there that pests encounter but don’t interact with is an increasing issue we can’t afford if we want to achieve a predator free NZ by 2050.

This is a free event co-hosted by the Predator Free NZ Trust and Environment Southland.

When: 5:30pm till 7pm, Monday 17th May.

Venue: Environment Southland’s Council Chambers, Corner of North Road and Price Street, Invercargill.

Register at

SERN Autumn Field Day

8 May 2021

The SERN Autumn Field Day began at Kew Bush where about 40 people gathered to watch Allan McPherson and John Tait unveil the new sign at the north entrance to the bush track. Fondly referred to as ‘the boys’, Allan and John became involved in the restoration of this small forest remnant, on the grounds of Kew Hospital, in the late 1990’s. At that stage they were a part of the South Invercargill Lions Club team that used to help out by clearing the track. However these two saw that the bush needed a helping hand, as after the heavy frost of 1996 the understory was decimated and a number of weeds were taking over. With an old holly hedge along the north side of the area, this exotic had made itself very much at home, so one of the main tasks for Allan and John, with help from fellow South Invercargill Lions Club members, was to cut and drill and poison this pest plant. With a large drain being put through the bush at the time of the new Kew Hospital being built, a large area was opened up that they propagated natives to replant the area, along with the north, south and west edges where they removed weeds and then filled in with natives. Realising that seedlings weren’t naturally getting going, partly due to the presence of pest animals like possums and rats, they took on this challenge, with help from Environment Southland providing traps and poison for them to use. The walk around the track after the unveiling of the sign revealed a very different forest to what it was 20 years ago, with the work spearheaded by these two resulting in a much healthier forest remnant.

At noon we moved to the Southland Community Nursery Education Centre at Otatara, for lunch. Here Maurice Rodway, Honorary Ranger for the Oreti Totara Dune Forest, explained how this 70ha area on Oreti Rd was purchased by the national organisation, the Native Forest Restoration Trust (NFRT), last year. He told how this area, although private land, had always been a place that the people of Otatara had explored and enjoyed due to the good will of the owners. With the purchase by the NFRT, the intention is that that opportunity will continue, along with giving the totara dominant forest, shrublands and wetlands a chance to restore naturally. The more grassy areas will continue to be grazed in the short term, however the areas of forest have had no stock in them for almost a year now and already native seedlings are establishing in the understory. The local committee that helps to manage the area has organised the mowing of tracks and with assistance from a keen local a number of seats, shelters and bridges have been put in to enhance the area for recreational use. The Otatara Pestbusters have overseen the establishment of predator control lines and another committee member has helped with signage. It will be interesting to watch this area develop over time.