News

Nursery success

Things have been hotting up at our plant nursery, with over 2,000 of our subsidised 1.3 litre native plants being purchased to replant over 3,000 square metres of land in the second half of last year.

“It’s been great to see the nursery being so well used by the community,” says Nursery Co-ordinator Jodie Little. Although the nursery outreach was disrupted by Covid-19 restrictions, the number of plants bought and the land covered in the last six months was double that of the whole year before.

The nursery, situated on the main Clevedon-Papakura Road behind the Co-op, has also had a steady stream of volunteers who are gaining practical skills while contributing to regenerating the river.

“We hope that increased understanding of the importance of replanting and the practical skills we pass on can play a part in transforming the Wairoa River into a healthy, thriving ecosystem,” Jodie says.

Pest control begins young

One of the catchment’s youngest and most active pest controllers is Hugo McPhail who lives in the Ness Valley. A Clevedon School research project highlighted for Hugo the impact of pests on native bird populations, and he decided to dive in and make a difference.

Since July 2019, Hugo has trapped over 100 rats and possums. He was granted permission by the principal of Clevedon School to trap on the school grounds. Now he’s moved on from the school to help a number of neighbours by carrying out pest control on their properties.

Pest Control Co-ordinator Lenny van Heugton describes Hugo as a shining example to adults of what can be done in pest control. Hugo’s efforts appear to be making a difference, as he reports less rats being trapped at the school and lower possum numbers on his home property. “We have a lot of bird life including lots of kererū, kingfisher and a family of noisy kākā.”

School visits

Free hands-on sessions in plant care are on offer for local schools through our community nursery based behind Clevedon Co-op on the main road.

At the end of last year an enthusiastic class of students from Brookby School helped prick out 300 mānuka seedlings and pot up 200 harakeke plants.

The practical education sessions last up to one-and-a-half hours and include information on: identification, growing and caring for native plants, benefits of planting and biosecurity in a community nursery.

Photos: Jodie Little, Stephen Nicholson, Tony Thompson, Brendan Vallings

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