Pomona Island's Covid Challenges

The inability for the Pomona Island Trust volunteers to maintain their regular pest control duties through the Covid lockdown resulted in the explosion of rat numbers through the autumn.

Full credit to those involved in this project who with the lift of lockdown swang in to action and through many dedicated volunteer hours have reduced the rat numbers to almost achieve rat free status again. An amazing effort.

Read more about Pomona Island news in the latest newsletter.

Southland Community Nursery Workshops in June 2020

All workshops will be 10am – noon and the schedule will be as follows and bookings are required email Chris at : Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Friday 12 June 2020 – Native Plant Cuttings Workshop - Linda

Friday 19 June 2020 – Native Plant Cuttings Workshop - Linda

Friday 26 June 2020 – Vegetable Gardening in Southland – Bronwyn and Erica

Friday 3 July 2020 – Principles of Permaculture and Forest Gardens – Geoff

Friday 10 July 2020 – Setting up a Community Nursery - Chris

For more information about the Community Nursery -

Bushy Point Triple Celebration Day

On 14th September 2019 the Otatara Landcare Group (OLG) celebrated its 20th year and two other important milestones. At Bushy Point – the planting of 30,000 native plants and the reaching of 15,000 volunteer hours.

On the Triple Celebration Day we not only planted 1000 plants by lunchtime but had a ceremonial tree planting for Russell Evans who passed away recently – his wife May planted a special totara tree and our new kereru mascot was named “Russell” in his honour. This was followed by a BBQ, the cutting of the cake by our All Black Living Legend Kevin Laidlaw, and children’s activities.

If you haven’t been to Bushy Point it’s a great walk - the Bushy Point Project is accessible to the public at all times with walkways and interpretation signs – access from Bryson Road.

SIT students help restore Bluff Hill/Motupohue in Parks Week

SIT students have been involved in native plantings near the Gun Pit, as a part of the Bluff HIll Motupohue Environment Trust’s restoration project. One of a number of activities organised by ICC for Parks Week (see attached flyer), on Thursday 14th March from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, there’ll be a further planting undertaken by the SIT and the Bluff Hill Motupohue Environment Trust . This event is open to all, so come along to the Gun Pit on Bluff Hill and help put a plant in the ground, learn about our natural environment from DOC staff in attendance and meet members of Bluff 2024.

Predator Free NZ Workshop Inspirational

A Predator Free 2050 community group evening was well attended on 30 January 2019. Around 45 people came along to the Education Centre and listened to some very interesting speakers – the evening was organised by Environment Southland and DOC.

First speakers were two Otago University Students researching pest issues on braided rivers and in the alpine region. This was followed by food and drink and networking and then Ed Chignell Chief Exec of Predator Free 2050 Limited - gave a presentation.

Ed outlined the landscape scale projects that had been funded around the country to date - Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Waiheke and Dunedin and shared some amazing videos of those projects. The videos can be viewed at

Following on was Rhys Millar from Predator Free Dunedin who gave a positive but honest talk on the process of getting such a project off the ground and the steps involved in joining many individual projects together into a landscape wide project – including setting up a new overarching Charitable Trust, fundraising, getting collaborators and the actual work on the ground. Lots of food for thought. To complete the night Willy Gamble from Stewart Island Restoration Charitable Trust (SIRCET) showed all the good work that group are doing to free Stewart Island of animal and plant pests and the technology they are using to log catches and track weeds. In typical Willy style he introduced quite a bit of humour into his talk, including some fascinating statistics from Pokemon! (see photo below).

Earlier in the day the speakers had addressed the Southland Predator Free forum organised by DOC and Venture Southland. At that meeting Ed ad Rhys gave talks with the addition of Al Bramley of Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) who spoke about the new technologies and current learnings, which were fascinating.

Well done DOC, Environment Southland and Venture Southland for bringing the speakers to Southland.

Chris, Southland Community Nursery