2015-2016 Events and Achievements

Working bees 4 to 6 March 2016

See 2016 Newsletters for details of Friday working bee on 4 March, bush rescue in Wernham Ave on 5 March and Seaview Ave working bee on 6 March.

Bush rescue working bee Sunday 28 February 2016

Thanks to Adrian, Andrew O, Andrew P, Marc and Keith for sterling work carrying flax bushes into the wetland and planting them where ginger plant has been controlled.  Thanks also to the Holman family for their thoughtful donation. 

We had a discussion during the working bee of the risks of fire in the wetland.  Here's a link to a discussion on the relative flammability of different native species - feedback welcome. 

It was also good to hear news that a property owner on the edge of Le Roys Bush has engaged bush restoration experts to control 
dozens of pines, tree privets, Monkey Apples, Loquats, Wattles, and also dozens of big Bangalow palms. Congratulations to them. 

"Love our Parks" - Sunday 14 February - celebration of new Le Roys Bush track connection




Thanks to the Kaipatiki Local Board, Auckland Council Parks Department, Birkenhead Senior Citizens Association, Friends of Le Roys Bush, Beyond the Fence, the Kauri Point and Chatswood Reserves Management Committee and other members of the Kaipatiki Restoration Network, Forest and Bird North Shore, the Kaipatiki Facilities Trust, the Kaipatiki Local Youth Board, the Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team and many others for the wonderful turnout under the Senior Citizens Hall. It was estimated that 150 people attended the event - and dozens of people passed through walking the track.

The celebration began with Kay McIntyre, chair of the KLB, giving the background to the purchase of the land below 251 Hinemoa Street and the history of the track construction from 2010. 

She thanked the project team, members of the KLB and Council, the Le Roys Bush team, the BSCA, the Kaipatiki Parks Officer and many others for their contributions over time 










Carol Hosking, chair of the Le Roys Bush Management Committee, then spoke, thanking all the contributors and noting also the valuable contribution made by the Eaton family in covenanting about 3000 m2 of their stand of kauris adjoining the new track route. Thanks also went to the BNZ Closed for Good, the Edith Winstone Blackwell Trust and the McPhee family.

There was a great turnout from the above groups as well as local residents. Thanks very much to all the people who made the event a success.

After the event, there was a lot of socialising in the shade of the Senior Citizens hall and many people took a walk.   

    
PS - it was great to see Margaret and Bruce Paine in attendance.  Margaret Paine grew up in Birkenhead well before the bridge and was an early advocate of connecting Birkenhead's bush tracks with each other and was a source for some of the ideas in the proposal which eventually became the Kaipatiki Connections project.

Friday Working Bee - new track - 4 February - weeding and erosion prevention

Many thanks to Alan, Keith, Les and Ted for two hours great work releasing natives from convolvulus and digging out ginger, nut sedge, moth plant, queen of the night, woolly nightshade, pampas grass and many other weeds while keeping enough ground cover to prevent soil eroding into the stream.  Looking forward to see some of the people walking by turning out on the first Friday of March. Should make things look better for the big day on 14 Feb.

Working Bees - new track - Sunday 24 January clearing the tip site rubbish 

         

The amount of rubbish that had been thrown down the back of Bill Howarth Panel Beaters was astounding. There were about 12 sheets of long run roofing, a large steel cage structure, a big iron girder, concrete blocks, carpet, wire cable, roofing iron, asbestos, plastic, glass and miscellaneous rubbish.
Many thanks to Adrian, Debbie, Mark, Don, Keith, Linda, Marc and Maureen for giving up a beautiful Sunday morning to drag out inorganic rubbish thrown into Le Roys Bush by a previous occupant of this building.
The third photo shows the pile of rubbish that was hauled out of the bush reserve. It doesn't look very big here. But dragging it up this atrocious tip face of rubble, concrete blocks and sharp wire spikes was a mission.
To avoid the risk of accidents as tiredness and heat took their toll, we will see if Council will talk with the property owner to remove the rest of the rubbish.
As well as pulling out inorganic rubbish, some weed control was done - mainly thistles, beggars ticks and other tip site weeds ready for native revegetation after summer. At Parks Department's requests, we also transplanted 4 natives from the top of the steps where The Ministry of Primary Industries Kauri Dieback division will be installing a kauri dieback cleaning station.
Many thanks also to Les who has done a great job clearing tradescantia (wandering dew) and other weeds from around the walkway.
[Update 2016-02-09 - we are advised that the pile of rubbish has been removed - but the contractors are reluctant to clear the concrete dumped in the reserve by Howarth's panelbeaters in 2001 or thereabouts.]
 

Working Bees - new track - Friday 8 Jan 2016 and others

There was an impromptu working bee on Friday 8 January  with Les and Keith starting on the weeds around the new walkway - pulled out a lot of tradescantia, ginger and climbing asparagus.
Interesting to see this area of bush in the rain.  The stream was flowing fast. The Northcote College fish monitoring team had noticed that there was a new overland flow carrying silt into the kokopu pool - making it very turbid. Silt in fish pools disrupts the kokopu breeding cycle. So we moved around some of the erosion "socks" - those long sacking "sausages" placed to control spillage during the track construction - to try to filter out the silt. 
On Friday 15 January Les did another 3 hours and on Sunday 17 January Keith did another three.  It's a pleasant place to work in the fresh air with birds singing and quite large numbers of walkers - some of whom stop for a chat.
The kokopu pool at the bottom of the steps is looking clearer now.  On Sunday 17 January, a family of regular walkers were able to identify 4 banded kokopu swimming round the pool. 

There's a lot more weed control to be done around this area - if you'd like to be part of the team clearing weeds around the new walkway please get in touch.  Our next working bees are on the fourth Sunday of January and the first Friday of February from 10am.   It would be great to see more new volunteers. 

Birkenhead Village Working bee - 22 November 2015

Thanks to Eloise, Don, Davey and Keith for help with weeding and tidying up just below the new cafe and platform site.
There is now large steel work on site ready to build the foundations for the new structure. 

Seaview Ave Working bee - 1 November 2015

There was a great turnout of Seaview Ave residents plus a couple of others to clear the track down to Little Shoal Bay.  They filled two large weed bags (very large - look at the pictures) and put masses of weeds into a volunteers trailer (normally used for the transport of a dalek!).


Working bee Sunday 24 October 2015

Thanks to Don, Keith, Ken, Marc, Cohen and Zoe for a great mornings work. We taped off an area just north of the Senior Citizens where to totara, pigeonwood, what etc are regenerating. We pulled out heaps of morning glory, ox tongue, thistles etc just below Rosella Apartments. We hope to come back again to do more soon. 
We may need another working bee here soon to clear some weeds - although we hope that Council will let us know if it has plans for revegetating this area which will be in full view of the new cafe and platform when they open next year.   

Emergency working bee Sunday 11 October 2015

Emergency Working Bee - East of Highbury project -Many thanks to Don, Duncan, Eloise, Keith and Ken for a hard days work rescuing dozens of flax from "Kaimataara o Wai Manawa" the site of the new lookout and cafe next to the Westpac building in Highbury. Afterwards, Ken and Keith walked around the site which we revegetated with 1500 natives about 6 years ago and then up the stream where a group planted heaps of nikau, parataniwha etc.  The uptake of parataniwha is not brilliant, but overall the area is regenerating well with pigeonwood, nikau etc.  The slope up to Westpac is also regenerating well - although some of Westpac's bamboo is still emerging.

We are getting a quote to remove bamboo, crack willow and gray willow from by the top of the stream.  We have tackled the gray willow before and it's a many headed monster. 

Thanks to those who turn

Forest and Bird walk in Le Roys - Saturday 26 September 2015

About 20 people enjoyed this walk led by expert botanist Bec Stanley through the reserve. 

BNZ "Closed for Good" working bee Wednesday 2 September 2015 

Grateful thanks to Nick and the rest of the great team from the BNZ for the fantastic job they did in Le Roys Bush around the edge of the Little Shoal Bay wetland. 

 They filled about 6 large black sacks with a range of weeds - ginger, woolly nightshade, mothplant, privet, monkey apple, wattles galore, climbing asparagus, etc.

A big thank you too to Steve Cook for giving his time and expertise to guide the weed clearance.  It's great to see the native forest struggling away under the invasive pest plants and to think the BNZ team has released it to grow to full size.  And out thanks to the new Volunteer and Biodiversity coordinator, Ashley White, for taking the time to help us out.

Thanks also to the Northcote Bowling Club for making their premises available for the day. A great place for lunch and for a post-work social chat over a glass. 

Monthly working bee - Sunday 23 August 2015

A beautiful day - started with planting a dozen locally sourced cabbage trees - bare rooted - near the sewer crossing in the LSB wetland.
Followed by some track clearance (a fallen tree had left soil and stones across the track) and weed clearance at the bottom of Glade Place.  The carexes in this area are looking really great after many years' hard work.
               

It was a good to see that someone (presumably Council contractors) has been clearing track side drains.  But it was a bit surprising to find that cut flax leaves have been laid in these drains and that two ponga trunks had been cut (looks like a chain saw cut?) and the trunks have been dumped in the stream beside the track.  In the photo on the right, the bigger of the two  felled trees has been hauled out - it is apparent that it's alive and of considerable size.  If you have any information about who might have vandalised this tree fern, please let us know. 

The work finished on a good note with a view of the new walkway nearing completion, then a flat white at Coffee General. 

Ad hoc working bee - Sunday 16 August 2015

Our contractor Steve (BioScience Ltd) has started working around the LSB and Lutners Reserve wetlands.  Steve has spotted some pampas in the Lutners wetland and also a large mothplant 60 metres along the wooden walkway west of the bowling club bridge.  The moth plant had grown up and killed a karamu.  We collected 2 thirds of a sack of pods from this site - luckily only one had started to spread seeds.  Just in time!

                                                          

Also a regular walker through Le Roys had reported flooding on the track west of the Seaview Ave/Dudding Park Bridge junction. People had been making the grass muddy to avoid the puddles.  We got there finally today and took a few photos and cleared the under-track drains and also the drainage on the uphill side of the track.  Someone appeared to have already done some clearance.  We'll report this to Council to ask for some additional metal for the track and repair to the boards on either side off the track in places.  

Beyond the Fence Planting Bee - Maritime Terrace 26 July 2015


A great turn out saw over 80 trees planted on a difficult slope overlooking the lower LSB wetland - a mix of hebes, kanuka, matipo, comprosma robusta, cabbage tree, mahoe and akeake eco-sourced from the Kaipatiki Project nurseries. 

Many thanks to Marc and Helen for a wonderful pizza lunch and to Dave, Fiona, Rose, Linda, Esther, Mary F, Callum, Mary S and Joe.
And many thanks to Auckland Council for the advice and trees.

Post storm volunteer work - 6 July 2015 - thanks to a local resident

Thanks very much to the local resident who has been reshaping and clearing the track from Hinemoa Street into Le Roys Bush recently.  He has lifted the wooden grates on the drains across the track, cleared out the shingle and relaid it across the track.  Thanks very much Laurie!

Seaview Ave tree planting - 5 July 2015

Congratulations to the Seaview Ave BtF group. They have planted 300 plants sourced from the Kaipatiki Restoration Project. A great group of 15 people helped with the planting including children and luckily the rain held off until after coffee and cake! The area has been transformed from a boggy area filled with nutgrass and black nightshade to a thriving patch of natives.

     BEFORE:                                          AFTER:

Beyond the Fence project at Hinemoa Street - 28 June 2015

Thanks very much to Deb and Mark for organizing another great clearance.

Tree Planting - Beyond the Fence project at Seaview Ave -  7 June 2015

Thanks to all the volunteers.  

Weed clearance on 7 June - well attended - cleared a lot of weeds - thanks to Steve Cook.
The photo here shows one of the stacks of Giant Reed (Arundo donax) that was dealt to.
Luckily some of the native trees have survived the gradual expansion of the Giant Reed.
  

  


Bush care working bee - Sunday 24 May 2015

  
Thanks to Adrian, Ken, Keith and Tracey and Theo and Bradley for coming out to help on a blustery day with frequent showers. Great to see Kirsty again in Le Roys.
We achieved a lot: collected the old rat bait stations from the reserve ready for use in the Rat Blitz programme and cut back a large gorse bush growing above the Valley Road track. We released some of the native grasses on the track that leads up the valley from Dudding Park - but found lots of honeysuckle snaking under the grasses and up into trees.  Also half a dozen Queen of the Night - up to 1.5m tall. Great to catch them before they start to drop their white fruit. We also tied some pink ribbon on the board walk to mark broken boards or rumpled mesh.  
Thanks very much to Tracey for the wonderful morning tea.
 


It was disappointing to see that the track maintenance crew has sprayed some of the native grasses along the edge of the track leading from Dudding Park up the valley. 

There were some good carex here that Council had bought and we had planted. They were not big ones so shouldn't have interfered with the track too much.
  
We'll need to talk with the Parks Department about how to avoid a recurrence of this. If we'd known it were happening we could have dug them up and replanted them. 

Meantime there are wattles emerging along the other side of the track by the wetland.  If you see wattles that are as high as your knee or higher, you can safely pull them out - grasp them by the base of the trunk and pull carefully. 


Bush care working bee - Sunday 26 April 2015

It's pampas seeding time again, as those deceptively attractive feathery heads of pampas grass spread their unwanted seeds across the neighbourhood. 
Adrian, Don and Keith deadheaded several large clumps overhanging the Little Shoal Bay wetland.  Over the past 20 years, the Le Roys Bush group has spend countless hours and tens of $1000s on eliminating pampas from the wetland.  It's really important that their seeds don't spread across the raupo - where they will quickly dominate the native ecosystem. We also bagged a number of young mothplant, honeysuckle, climbing asparagus and ginger.

 If you see any pampas grass or moth plant growing and flowering roung the wetland, please help get rid of them. Their multitudinous seeds spread into private gardens and public reserves causing considerable nuisance.

Beyond the Fence working bee - Seaview Ave Sunday 19 April

At the request of a Seaview Ave property owner, the Seaview Ave BtF group helped clear hundreds of weeds (moth plant, blue morning glory, mignonette, woolly nightshade, privet etc) from the slope of the stream that was the site of a NSCC Naturally Smarter project about six years ago.  We then visited the site of the other Naturally Smarter project by Valley Road where some property owners are doing a wonderful job maintaining their property.  Whereas others have a profusion of pampas grass, moth plant, wattle, blue morning glory, privet and many other weeds.  Seeds and fragments from these weeds will all be flowing down the stream into Le Roys. Undoing all the money and hard work from Council and volunteers.

It's a real pity that the Naturally Smarter project didn't have a plan to ensure that there was a follow up component to the project. Many of the native plants have now been killed off by rampant weeds (particularly moth plant, bmg, mignonette and other creepers and climbers). Most of the badly maintained properties are, we are told, tenanted properties where the tenants have not stake in keeping the property in good condition.  Is it fair, we wonder, if those who do make the effort to look after their property suffer from the inattention and lack of interest from absentee landlords.

The society to stamp out Moth Plant has been discussing whether the Regional Pest Management Plan (going out for consultation over the coming year) should make it illegal to have moth plant, blue morning glory and some other plants growing on any property within 100 metres of the boundary.  We'd be interested to hear what the people of Kaipatiki think about this.

Beyond the Fence Working Bee - Maritime Terrace - Sunday 22 March

The target weed this week was BMG (Blue Morning Glory) - an aggressive creeper that snakes its way across the gardens and the bush floor then up ferns and trees. (Local people will be familiar with the BMG that smothered large trees on the corner of Hinemoa Street and Maritime Terrace a few years back).  Richard Tippett of Expert Garden Service gave us valuable advice on how one person can rake up blue morning glory vines while the other team member cuts the vines at ground level just below the nodule (the fine roots below won't grow if separated from the nodule).  Where there wasn't room to rake, we cut off the vines at chest height and tied them into a loop - then pulled out the roots.  Thanks very much to Helen, Marc, Zoe, Cohen, Donnay, Dave, Fiona, Linda, Richard and Keith for a good morning's work.  A large area was cleared of BMG - hopefully the blue flowers in the native tree tops will have withered away soon.  We look forward to the next working bee to keep on top of the blue morning glory curse.  Many







NOTE: The properties we worked on near the bottom of Maritime Terrace slope down what used to be quite steep cliffs running down to the old waterline.  Over the years, after the estuary between Maritime Terrace and Council Terrace was filled in to form a track and later a road, the old tidal area has been transformed into one of Auckland's larger raupo wetlands.  To avoid erosion, we try to ensure that there are lots of healthy native plants growing on these old escarpments and on the land adjoining the raupo wetland. 
It is great to see how well this land has progressed since the Le Roys Bush group started working there 7 years ago. 



Beyond the Fence Working Bee - Hinemoa Street - Sunday 15 March 2015

Many thanks to Mark and Debbie for organising this working bee. And thanks to Bec, Geoff, Linda, Richard and Keith for their hard work.
We filled two enormous sacks with tradescantia and other weeds and also cleared the drains on the track before the Pam storm hit.
We hope there will be another weeding bee soon to work further down the bush reserve to the masses of ginger down by the old drain pipes.

Beyond the Fence Working Bee - Seaview Ave - Sunday 8 March 2015

A great turnout at this weeding bee - thanks Diana and Mike for your wonderful hospitality. And thanks to Steve Cook of EcoScience for your volunteer weed control work. 



Beyond the Fence Working Bee - Valley Road - Sunday 25 January 2015

Many thanks to Ann, Roger, Peter and Keith for a great job clearing a trailer load of weeds from the Auckland Council plantings along the Valley Road edge of Le Roys Bush. Thanks also to KiwiVision Ltd for taking the weeds to the tip and to Ann for the delicious lemonade.   
Once the mass of weeds were removed, it was very rewarding to find that the flax and native grasses were still growing well underneath. They were planted as part of a North Shore Council "Naturally Smarter" project several years ago.
This is the first step in a project which may involve the Beyond the Fence project. We hope that other neighbours will join in. Watch this space. 

Before photos:
The most visible weeds are these "thistles" (probably oxtongue?) near the end of their life.  Although they look ugly and untidy, they are annuals near the end of their life. They are unlikely to spread into the bush as they prefer open soil in the sun.

Pampas grass is on the road reserve and on some private property along the road.  This is one of the top 10 pests that spread their seeds around the neighbours and into Le Roys Bush. Another pest in similar locations is the wattle tree whose seed pods are maturing at present.
The blue flowers belong to Blue Morning Glory - climber that will smother and kill native bush if not controlled.