SERN Autumn Field Day: Bushy Point

The SERN Autumn Field Day took place at Bushy Point in brilliant, summer levels of sunshine! There were volunteers from groups in Bluff to central Southland, Catlins across to the Aparima and a few local Otatara residents too. It was a wonderful day of discovery for all those who attended. Huge thanks to all those involved both in organising the event and especially to those who have taken part, and continue to be the kaitiaki of this area, taking it from sheep grazed paddocks onto its 500 year journey of restoration to rich kahikatea forest ecosystem that was so rashly felled in a couple of days back in the 70’s. Now Bushy Point will also be interlaced with open tussock patches where people can share time watching the clouds float by with a backdrop of tūī and kākāriki. SERN wanted to showcase what could be achieved in time alongside providing advice where lessons have been learned and Bushy Point was a perfect example.

Barry did an awesome job with facts and figures for every topic alongside descriptions of how much sweat had been shed; in deciding to take on the site in the 90’s, to worrying if anyone would turn up to plant the ready and waiting 6000 plants for the Living Legend event, to repeated planting (with different species!) on areas that no plants seem to be able to grow in and how a spike-grass covered wetland is still heaven for heaps of NZ insects so stop sweating about it! Lloyd described the amazing number of birds to be found here, Brian explained the mix of different shrubs planted and the various methods trialled and Chris gave some of the background plans and how the site provides education through to the wider community with the Community Nursery and school or other group visits. There was plenty of chatter throughout the day - of ideas exchanged to take back to their sites, and many comments of people being impressed by the achievements. There have been so many people involved over the 25years, some were young children at the start and come back now with their own youngsters. Take some time yourself to wander through, help on a planting or weeding day, and if you are looking to get fit perhaps take on a pest trap line.