SERN Spring Field Day 2012 - Restoration of Riverton Environs
Visit to Men of the Trees Pourakino restoration site, then Karyn Owen’s wetland property near Lake George for lunch. After visit to Colac Bay wetland and Takutai o te Titi Marae. Saturday 10th November the bus full of enthusiastic folk headed for Pourakino Reserve for an hour of broom control, assisting the Men of the Trees in their restoration project there. Broom was pulled or cut and pasted with picloram gel. The Men of the Trees have made great progress with getting the broom under control here, however getting the restoration plantings going is problematic in this exposed site that also has stock and pest animal (deer, rabbits) issues. Lynne Huggins, DOC Weed control expert, then gave a display of basal bark spraying, which has become a popular technique for control of woody species, in this instance elderberry. Lynne explained that they were seeing good results from this technique for the wilding pine control on Mid Dome.
The next stop for lunch was at Karyn Owen’s restoration project on the south west side of Lake George. After a delicious feed of cob oven baked pizza, we explored Karyn’s property. She has formed an excellent track system which has allowed a very good animal pest trapping programme to be established. Using several different styles of traps, she is seeing good results, commenting that in the evening she has a moorpork that follows her around the rat traps making the most of any catch available. The visit ended with the group having another session of broom pulling in the area outside Karyn’s hut.
We moved on to Colac Bay where Lynne Huggins spoke to us about the wetland restoration project there. Dealing with the old rubbish tip has made the task challenging, however the area has been landscaped and planted out in tussock, toe toe and hardy woody native species. A large part of the area is still in good natural condition with jointed rush (oi oi), Coprosma species and flax, however gorse is on ongoing problem, as is the rubbish that has been dropped into the open water areas.
The final stop was the Takutai o te Titi Marae, where the Oraka Aparima runaka have established a very good nursery. This site provides plants for both the wetland restoration area and also for the Rarotoka (Centre Island) project.
Many thanks to those whose projects we visited and enjoyed hearing about, also to Environment Southland for sponsoring the bus trip.