2015 - 2016 Newsletters

Hi All - Welcome to our Le Roys Bush news page

Contents

  1. 1 Items added to our Facebook page (for those of you who don't use Facebook)
  2. 2 Beach Clean up at Little Shoal Bay - 10.30 Sunday 6 December
  3. 3 Local botanist and plant ecologist Bec Stanley has posted (October 2015) a photo of the beautiful scented NZ native shrub Toropapa on her Twitter account (BecStanley ‏@botan_ical)
  4. 4 Signs of #spring the beautiful scented NZ native shrub Toropapa (Alseuosmia macrophylla) Le Roys Bush @LeRoysBush
  5. 5 The Le Roys Bush Committee has made a submission on the RPMP in conjunction with other groups in the Kaipatiki Local Board area.  It is hoped to get stronger controls on pest plants and animals to prevent the loss of native flora and fauna.Download and adapt the following document  http://tinyurl.com/rpmp2015  and send it to pestplanreview@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz by 27 November 2015
  6. 6 Working Bee - 10am to noon Sunday 25 October 2015 - meet at Birkenhead Senior Citizens 255 Hinemoa Street
  7. 7 Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan - submissions due 27 November
  8. 8 If any members would like to assist with the Management Committee's decision, please email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com
  9. 9 Le Roys Lookout - update as at 23 October 2015:
  10. 10 New Highbury Track - updated 24 October 2015:
  11. 11 Wine and Weeds at Ravenhill  18 October 2015:
  12. 12 Fairfax Ave Track improvements
  13. 13 Stream siltation and Birkenhead Ave stormwater works from October 2015
  14. 14 Rat and possum control
  15. 15 Pest Free Kaipatiki proposal
  16. 16 BNZ Closed for Good volunteer day
  17. 17 Items last updated before 30 July 2015:


We haven't sent out any full newsletters so far this year - most of our working bees have been small localised "Beyond the Fence" working bees - but did send out a newsflash on 23 April to people who live near Little Shoal Bay where we held a working bee on Sunday 26 April to tackle the pampas and mothplant around the wetland.
We sent another newsflash to the same people for the 24 May bush care working bee and will also be emailing people about the Rat Blitz from 11 June 2015. 


Items added to our Facebook page (for those of you who don't use Facebook)

2016-01-09: Happy new year to all - we haven't had time yet to set up a 2016 page - but are pleased to let you know that several people report some kokopu have returned to the kokopu pool.  Unfortunately it was very murky. On Friday 8 Jan we set up some "erosion socks" to try to reduce a new source of siltation that wasn't present before the walkway was built. 

2015-12-14: New walkway: just heard that compliance sign off has been received. The magnificent track was legally open from 9.30 Monday 14 December.
Congratulations to all. Please keep pets and people on the track - help preserve the kauri and kokopu.
2015-12-15: Official opening is planned for 10 to noon on 14 February. 

2015-12-12: Very disappointing - someone just rang to say that some idiots have been vandalising the bush - snapping off tree ferns near the tracks and throwing away the kauri dieback bottles. If you have any evidence about who may have done it, please report it to the police. Thanks to Michael for replacing the Kauri Dieback trigene bottles.

2015-12-10: Just had a call from Watercare to let people know they are doing dye testing in Le Roys Bush in conjunction with Auckland Council. We'll pass on more details as they come to hand.


New Walking Track
(updated 14 January 2016)

The new track from the top of Hinemoa Street was opened in December after a technical delay in sign off with a blessing from the mana whenua. 
The offical celebration function will be from 10 to noon on 14 February 2016.

If you'd like to help with a weeding bee along the track edge, please email LeRoysBush@gmail.com

When the track is opened to the public, you will notice that the mitigation undertaken under the project contract doesn't appear to suit the area.  We have had some expert comment suggesting that some species are not suited to the location.  A number of people have also commented on the somewhat unnatural layout of the planting.  We met with the Parks Department who advised that it would cost Council to correct these concerns so we propose to review the situation after Christmas and to undertake remedial action in autumn.  

The Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team have also noted that the construction works have resulted in overland flows from Hinemoa St and Enterprise St washing soil into the stream - this provides a risk to the kokopu habitat.  We will undertake work in January to mitigate this impact.

Also there is a lot of inorganic rubbish below the panel beaters in Enterprise Street.  The owner has removed those items he believes he is responsible for.  There is apparently no legal proof that the current owner dumped the inorganic in the reserve.  So we may organise a working bee to remove it but will need to get the property owner's permission first.  

The Le Roys Bush Management Committee has been given approval to use the basement of the Birkenhead Senior Citizens Hall to store equipment.  We have started weekday working bees on the first Friday of each month at 10am from this location - in addition to the working bees on the 4th Sunday of each month.  If you are interested please get in touch. The Friday working bees will aim to restore the bush around the new walkway and the new lookout. Many thanks to Les, a new volunteer, who is doing some additional volunteer working bees.

A new map suitable for use on Smart Phones is being developed. Click here for the prototype Le Roys Bush walks track map.  Feedback for improvements is invited. 
We'd welcome photos of interesting points along the tracks which could be added to the track guides under development at 

We also plan to develop QR code links so walkers can learn about Le Roys Bush from their smart phones. 

Myrtle Rust Alert

FYI- please inform your networks – NZ on high alert for this disease threat after 2014-2015 incursions into Indonesia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and New Caledonia,
Refer to Department of Conservation’s ALERT  http://blog.doc.govt.nz/2015/12/07/keep-pohutukawa-healthy/
 
    
As you’re lying under your favourite pohutukawa tree this summer, look up. If you see any yellow spots on leaves, flower buds (or fruits of myrtaceae),
reach for your phone, take a photo and call the Ministry of Primary Industries 
https://www.mpi.govt.nz/ (MPI) hotline—0800 80 99 66. http://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/finding-and-reporting-pests-and-diseases/report-a-pest-or-disease/

Don’t hesitate, and don’t touch it! If it is myrtle rust (Pucinnia psidii), a fungus that attacks Myrtaceae species (including rata, manuka, kanuka, ramarama, eucalyptus, guava and feijoa), it will be as mobile as talcum powder.
If you are off to Australia, New Caledonia or Indonesia at Christmas, make extra certain your shoes, bag and equipment are clean before coming home.

More information on factsheets and links provided above

Beach Clean up at Little Shoal Bay - 10.30 Sunday 6 December

The annual beach and shore clean up (coordinated by the Birkenhead Residents Assocation and the Little Shoal Bay Protection Society) will take place from 10.30 on Sunday 6 December 2015 - all members are encouraged to attend and to chat afterwards over a bbq. For more info go to: Beach cleanup - Little Shoal Bay  

Signs of spring in Le Roys Bush

Local botanist and plant ecologist Bec Stanley has posted (October 2015) a photo of the beautiful scented NZ native shrub Toropapa on her Twitter account (BecStanley ‏@botan_ical)

Signs of #spring the beautiful scented NZ native shrub Toropapa (Alseuosmia macrophylla) Le Roys Bush @LeRoysBush



Submissions on the Regional Pest Management Plan - due 27 November 2015

The Le Roys Bush Committee has made a submission on the RPMP in conjunction with other groups in the Kaipatiki Local Board area.  It is hoped to get stronger controls on pest plants and animals to prevent the loss of native flora and fauna.
Download and adapt the following document  http://tinyurl.com/rpmp2015  and send it to pestplanreview@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz by 27 November 2015

Working Bee - 10am to noon Sunday 25 October 2015 - meet at Birkenhead Senior Citizens 255 Hinemoa Street

This working bee started clearing the area below Rosella Apartments. See 2015 Newsletters for more details.

 We had planted to weed along either side of the new track - but were asked to defer this. 
The contractors have been planting the area either side of the track - curiously they have been planting some flax - which was not one of the plants on the list we were consulted about. The rubbish is still lying on the bank below the panelbeaters in Enterprise Street. Council have contact the property owners - hopefully they will remove it before the opening ceremony scheduled for late November. It's too late in the season to plant on this slope - we have scattered eco-sourced native seeds - but will review the revegetation of this area as soon as possible.




Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan - submissions due 27 November

If any members would like to assist with the Management Committee's decision, please email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com


Meeting at Takapuna War Memorial Hall, The Strand 7.30pm, Tuesday 10 November
If you'd like a lift, please email leroysbush@gmail.com

Here's an email we received from a Council officer - we urge you to join with us in making submissions.

Tena koe,

 

This is a big deal – the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) sets both the expectations about what pest animals and pest plants (incl environmental weeds) are controllable, and the rules.

 

In this sense it has a significant impact on community and environmentally concerned citizens ability to achieve our aspirations

 

I’m playing this up because this is the first time in 13 years you have the chance to influence this document, and the next chance will be another 10 years away …

 

Council is keen to know your ideas – new ideas not already contained in this draft, and your thoughts on what is contained

 

There are information sessions at a range of locations (see below) and an online feedback form

 

 

Have fun – maybe some coffee sessions and discussion among your community or group to generate some feedback?!

 

All the best 



Online feedback

You can have your say until Friday 27 November. Please view the RPMP document and clicking on the feedback form link below.

Pest management in Auckland - online form

Following this period of consultation, a proposed RPMP will be released for formal submissions in early 2016. It is hoped that the RPMP will be in place by the end of 2016, following any hearings or appeals.


Supporting information

Further information about how Auckland Council is currently involved in Pest Management:

Regional pest management plan consultation summary (PDF 3MB)

Regional pest management plan discussion document (PDF 3MB)

Information about pest management in the biosecurity section of the Auckland Council website.

Find existing regional pest management strategy on the Auckland Council website.


Information sessions - the most suitable one for Birkenhead people is likely to be on 10 November at Takapuna

Date

 Time

  Location

 Tuesday 27 October

 9am – 4.30pm  

  Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar, Auckland Museum

 Sunday  1 November

 10am – 4pm

  Auckland Zoo

 Saturday 7 November

 Afternoon

  Auckland Botanical Gardens

 Sunday 8 November

 Afternoon

  Auckland Botanical Gardens

 Tuesday 10 November

 7.30 pm

 Takapuna War Memorial Hall, The Strand, Takapuna
    Email leroysbush@gmail.com if you want a lift

 Sunday 22 November

 5.30 – 10pm

  Glenfield Night Market

Le Roys Lookout - update as at 23 October 2015:


In the week ending 23 October,
an LRBMC member attended an on-site meeting to look at the protection of surrounding bush during the construction of the new cafe and lookout platform on Birkenhead Ave. About half of the bush had already been cleared from the site, with tracks being bulldozed and metalled to allow access for the drilling rig and construction equipment.
Over the next week, the rest of the bush will be bulldozed and tracks dug down to the bottom of the building site - stopping just short of a magnificent totara. The contractors are stockpiling the ponga trunks for the LRBMC to reuse in the adjacent bush for restoration purposes.
During early stages of planning for the lookout, it was mentioned that the LRBMC may have access to the area below the new platform for storage of equipment. It may also be suitable for propagation of ferns and carex.


On 8 November, two LRB members, invited as BRA members,attended the blessing by kaumatua from 3 iwi at the site of the "Kaimataara o Wai Manawa" - the new lookout next to Westpac on Birkenhead Ave. We learnt only on 6 October that the bush under the new deck is to be felled. But the concept plan for the cafe can be seen in this poster:

The resource consent states "Rule H.4.3.1.2 – district and regional land use consents to alter and to remove vegetation within a Significant Ecological Area (SEA) as a discretionary activity. The work involves the clearance of an area of 280m² of regenerating native vegetation (including weeds). The larger trees include an 8 metre high Kowhai tree, four Cabbage trees, one Karaka tree, three Karamuramu and one Whiteywood (Mahoe), all around 6 metres or less in height. The remaining understorey includes Kanuka, Ponga, Karaka, Cabbage tree, Karamuramu, Mahoe, Mapou, Kaweka and Harakeke. Three larger trees, being one Totara, one Whiteywood (Mahoe) and one Tanakaha will be retained and protected during the proposed works." It will be sad to see the 8 metre high kowhai go. It helped to soften the Westpac Building.We have been advised that we can rescue any trees from the area over the weekend but the project will take over the site next Tuesday - 13 October. If you'd like to help with this over the weekend, please email Keith at leroysbush@gmail.com. It is very late in the year to undertake any replanting without access to regular watering - so there may be a limited amount we can do.
It is saddening to see some good trees being removed. This slope was heavily overgrown with weeds when our group started on it in about 2007 - but with some good ponga in amongst it and a very attractive kowhai. In the early stages we felled some wattle and have planted possibly 100 natives - including many mahoe.  As the arborist appointed the project pointed out at the blessing it is a shame to lose the good trees - but the understorey was of poor quality.  On the plus side, it is hoped that the "Kaimataara o Wai Manawa" will introduce many more local people and visitors to the significance of Le Roys Bush. 

On the positive side, while we are losing some good trees next to Westpac, the Le Roys Bush Management Committee achieved a major win with assistance from some city councillors in getting funding to save the higher quality native bush below the Birkenhead Senior Citizens hall where the new walkway enters the bush.

One point of interest from the Kawerau kaumatua was about local flax around Birkenhead from pre-European times - the area was known for a subspecies of harakeke known as parataniwha - a variegated phormium tenax with yellow markings. [8 October 2015]

The LRB Management Committee hopes to meet soon with the City Transformation Team to discuss bush restoration in the area visible from the platform [18 November 2015]

New Highbury Track - updated 24 October 2015:

Update from 24 October: Early in the week it was reported to the LRBMC that the mitigation planting around the new walkway didn't look right.  It included flaxes not normally seen in this shaded part of the valley and plants were being placed in rather formal arrangements.  The Parks Officer quickly intervened and is arranging a more natural layout of the planting.

Update on 28 September: The construction of the walking track is almost all complete. Just the concrete path to lay and some tidy up work to do.
Sadly, the jumping kokopu have disappeared from their pool near Highbury. At this stage we don't know why or whether they will return. We will investigate this further as well as work with Council to try to reduce erosion and pollution in the stream. On the bright side, the Northcote College Fish Research Team is doing some great work on research and monitoring.
Thanks to the Council contractors for doing some weed control on the slope below the panel beaters in Enterprise Street. We still hope that the panel beaters will be removing their rubbish which has slid down the hill.
We have a working bee coming up soon to put some fencing under the boardwalk to reduce the risk of intrusion by dogs and people under the boardwalk. See Calendar - what's coming up? if you'd like to help.
The council plans an opening when the walkway is complete - which we expect will happen once the path from the Senior Citizens hall to the top of the steps is finished. This may happen in late November. Watch this space.
We have laid rat bait stations along the walkway - if you'd like to volunteer to help service these or to help with weed control, please let us know.
We have also scattered some eco-sourced seeds on the bare dirt along the walkway below Enterprise St - but the success rate for these is not likely to be high. As noted previously, we may do some planting next year.

Council has started planning the opening ceremony for the walkway. If you have any ideas let us know. We also hope to locate a notice board by the entrance to the walkway with information about the ecology of Le Roys and news of local restoration projects.
[28 Sep 2015]

Track Maintenance - Le Roy Terrace and Fairfax Ave - plastic drain pipes wanted.
We have met with Council contractors to look at drainage and track improvements at the junction of the Le Roy Terrace entrance with the Hinemoa Street entrance and also at some improvements to the Fairfax Ave track. Many thanks to our volunteer Michael who will be putting some extra Kauri Dieback trigene spray bottles at three more track entrances. We are also looking for free or cheap plastic drain pipes - please get in touch if you have any spare [28 Sep 2015]

Wine and Weeds at Ravenhill  18 October 2015:

Wine & Weeds - celebrate spring with your Birkenhead Point neighbours at the RAVENHILL COURTYARD on Rugby Road 2.00pm Sunday 18 October 2015
Light snacks provided, you buy the drinks - see Neighbourly for more information

Want to develop a weed strategy for your backyard?
The Gecko Trust (who help us with Beyond the Fence) is running one more free interactive workshop this year on weed strategising for your backyard or other area. It will be  held on Saturday 17 October at Titrangi. For more info see www.facebook.com/geckotrust

Fairfax Ave Track improvements

A Fairfax Ave resident is doing some voluntary work to rehabilitate the track. The LRB Management Committee is keen to support this work and invites people who'd like to help in working bees (particularly carrying in shingle by bucket!) to email us at leroysbush@gmail.com

The Kaipatiki Local Board's "Kaipatiki Connections Plan" envisages that in a later phase the track will be upgraded to provide a connection  from Le Roys to Kauri Glen reserve via Gladstone Rd. [11Sept2015]

Stream siltation and Birkenhead Ave stormwater works from October 2015

The Council plans works along Birkenhead Ave to manage stormwater flooding risks near Hammond Place.

The Le Roys Bush group is concerned about the high stormwater levels flowing into Le Roys Bush.  The scientist monitoring the ecology of the streams has recently reported that there is markedly increased siltation in many parts of the stream both in the Highbury catchment and the Enterprise St catchment which flows down a valley to the west of the main valley where the walkwaygoes.  Former pools are now nearly full of silt - reducing the habitat available for banded kokopu which breed in the upper LRB stream. 

The plan that Council's stormwater contractor AECOM has distributed  shows that the water will continue to flow into the head of the Le Roys Bush stream below Birkenhead Ave.  The outfall there is marked "Outlet Improvements to form part of subsequent work package". We have written to find out more about what Council might be able to do to reduce the siltation.  [11Sept2015]

Rat and possum control

A local volunteer adjacent to Le Roys Bush reports catching three possums with a Timms trap.  Another volunteer has caught one using a cage trap.  Various volunteers are reporting a strong take of bait blocks from their bait stations.  Remember, keep refilling your bait station as long as rats are taking the bait. 
Joint our rat blitz to protect our native bush and birds - as well as your fruit trees.

Scale Insects on Kauri trees in Auckland Central?

Shaun Bennett at MPI Diagnostics lab in Tamaki regarding this scale on kauri trees [27Aug2015] asks: 
“I would be grateful if [you] could keep an eye out for this scale insect on Kauri around the Auckland region during their normal work. If they find this scale insect I would appreciate receiving some specimens, with collection details. So far we know of its presence around urban Auckland from street-plantings, gardens and local reserves, from as far south as Manurewa, north to Orewa, and west to Waimauku. So I am specifically interested to learn more about the presence of this scale insect elsewhere in the region (perhaps it is on offshore islands?), and in larger areas of native forest e.g. the Hunuas, the Waitakeres, Little/Great Barrier".
Shaun J. Bennett | Entomologist - shaun.bennett@mpi.govt.nz Plant Health & Environment Laboratory | Ministry for Primary Industries

Pest Free Kaipatiki proposal

At the Kaipatiki Restoration Network meeting this Monday, a proposal to create a "Pest Free Kaipatiki" project will be aired. This will be modelled on Forest and Bird's "Pest Free Peninsula" project at Whangaparaoa. If you'd like to help get this off the ground, please email kaipatikirestorationnetwork@gmail.com

BNZ Closed for Good volunteer day

It was great to have a keen group of volunteers helping us out in the Little Shoal Bay wetland again on 2 September.  BNZ staff make for cheerful hard-working volunteers. This voluntary work is a main-stay in keeping the wetland free of horrible invasive plants such as pampas grass, blue morning glory, wattles, climbing asparagus, jasmine and many others.  Thanks BNZ.
     

(See our Facebook page for more details)

Items last updated before 30 July 2015:

Auckland Design Manual - a case study of Le Roys Bush


There are some wonderful photos in a case study of Le Roys Bush entitled "A Walk in the Park - an ecological reserve protects our native bush". It mentions community involvement but has limited reference to the fact that much of the native bush is on private land that has been protected for many years by Urban Bush Protection Zones. 

Hopefully this protection will continue under the Unitary Plan.  (20 August 2015)


Thanks to those who provided this link:  
http://content.aucklanddesignmanual.co.nz/resources/case-studies/le-roys-bush-and-little-shoal-bay/Documents/Case%20study_Le%20Roys.pdf 


New Highbury Track

22 August 2015:
  • The new walkway is nearing completion - a few weeks we are told. A group from the Le Roys Bush management committee inspected the track this morning to consider ways to ensure that the kokopu pools and the beautiful stand of kauri on private land are protected from people or pets straying off the path.  We will also be looking to use a generous donation made to the Le Roys Bush Charitable Trust to add a landing and seat half way up the steps from the "leaping kokopu" pool to the Birkenhead Senior Citizens hall. If you'd like to be consulted on the seat design please email us by 23 August 2015. 
    The new track is going to give access to some beautiful bush. It will be a great asset to Birkenhead in particular and to Kaipatiki and the city as a whole. 

  • It is anticipated that the walkway will have a "soft launch" with an official opening later in the year.  We hope that the Northcote College team will soon be able to resume its monitoring of the "leaping" kokopu.  

  • There has been a re-emergence of pest plants on the slope below the panel beaters. Council contractors will be starting the ecological maintenance programme here soon.  And we will organise some volunteer work to address what the contractors cannot cover within the budget.  However planting on this steep slope will start soon. Some inorganic rubbish has slid down the slope from a commercial site - the owners regret this and will remove it shortly.

25 July 2015: A sneak preview of the beautiful bush and the new Kaipatiki Connections walking track from Facebook:We're still working on ways to minimise the risks of Kauri Dieback impacting on the privately owned stand of kauri - aiming to ensure that all users keep strictly to the track.  Looking forward to council allowing access for the Northcote College fish monitoring team - so that they can check after a 6 month gap if the unique leaping kokopu are still in the pool after all the construction.

If you have any ideas for the naming of the track, we'd like to hear from you - leroysbush@gmail.com

18 July 2015:
See the photo posted by John Gillon on the LRB Facebook page of the new track - https://www.facebook.com/groups/203108196403911/
We have met with the Parks Officer for Kaipatiki and are working on ways to protect the kauri and the fish in the upper stream from the increased activity that the new track will bring - to preserve what's there for the enjoyment of all.


Little Shoal Bay Reserve playground re-build

The Parks department is re-building the playground in Little Shoal Bay Reserve because the posts of the old module are warping beyond repair and there is significant rust on the equipment. We will install a new play module which is very similar to the old one, as it is a successful design. The swings will remain.The new equipment is planned to be installed in late July and is likely to take less than 2 weeks. The playground will be closed during this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience.If you have any queries regarding the new playground equipment, please contact Sarah Jones, Project Manager on 021 821 069 or email parksnorthfeedback@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz by 15 August 2015. [23July2015]

Rat Blitz going well

Thanks very much to the people who have volunteered to be coordinators for Seaview Ave, Wernham Place, Fairfax Ave, Glade Place/Learmonth Ave, Hinemoa Street and Highbury.  All Rat Blitz rat bait stations ordered have been delivered and we are rolling out the data recording sheets to volunteers - many thanks to people who have returned theirs already. We welcome more enquiries from people who live around Le Roys who would like to look after bait stations on the back of their property adjoining Le Roys.  And from coordinators for other street.   [22 July 2015]

Storm scouring Le Roy Terrace track

Recent storms have seen storm water scouring the crushed metal on the track leading from Le Roy Terrace down into the bush. Many thanks to the Hinemoa Street resident who voluntarily raked the gravel out to make the path easier and safer. [10June2015]
Many thanks to another local volunteer, Laurie, who has been clearing the drains and re-spreading the gravel on the track. With the Parks Department budget going down, this volunteer work is greatly appreciated. [6July2015]

Moth Plant near Le Roys Bush

Thanks very much to David of the Kauri Point and Chatswood Reserve group who removed 90 mothplant pods growing 100 metres from Le Roys Bush and another 15 this morning - plus 3 half burst.  The growth was on a property which appears to have been bought as a spec investment by an overseas investor. It would be really good if investors and absentee landlords took responsibility for keeping their properties pest free.  How can we tackle this?  Ideas to LeRoysBush@gmail.com please.  This is volunteers weekend - many thanks to the Moth Plant volunteers. After the working bee we walked to the path next to Enterprise Motors and looked down at the new walking track - it looks as though the walkway is moving forward. We are told it should be finished by the end of July. [Note added 28 June 2015]

BtF Rat Blitz Programme - kick off meeting 
  • 7.30 to 9pm 
  • Wednesday 24 June, Birkenhead Library

    Congratulations to the BtF Project Team (Mary, Linda and Bec) and to Council Biosecurity experts (Garrick McCarthy and Mary Stewart) for a great evening at the Birkenhead Library.
    About 20 people attended and many took away a new rat bait station loaded with second generation bait as well as marker ribbons, gloves, etc.

    A few highlights from Garrick's talk:
    • Doing nothing is not an option. But we need to be realistic. We are talking of control - complete eradication can't be achieved.

    • Controlling rats and possums will give our native trees, birds etc a better chance of returning in significant numbers.

    • Traps alone will never get a high volume of pests; some rats never go near a trap. Quality safe poisons are the best option.

    • Compost bins are a major haven for rats - put bait stations near compost bins and other rat havens.

    • Essential for local volunteer groups to collaborate – can’t expect continual support from the limited number of council officers.

    • People have reported increased levels of rats this year – could be multiple causes – masting, development (eg rats escaping old buildings being demolished in Rawene Road).  

    • Monitoring can be undertaken using "chew" cards - simple and reliable. 

    • Use gloves when loading bait into a bait station - this protects you and masks your scent or the smell of hand lotions etc.

    • Dispose of old baits in your orange landfill rubbish back.

    Broken Steps

    As a measure to help warn walkers and runners, we propose tying bright tape to steps which have been reported as broken or to mesh which is not nailed down properly and may cause a tripping hazard.  If you have any comments, please tell us on Facebook or email LeRoysBush@gmail.com [24 May2015]

    2015 Working bees

    • Our monthly workings bees are on the 4th Sunday of the month at 10am.  The next one is on 28 June near the Hinemoa Street entrance.  [11 June2015]
    • For more details, please see Calendar - what's coming up? for details. For reports on what happened at an event, see 2015 Events and Achievements.
    • Note: Beyond the Fence working bees in Seaview Ave are on the 1st Sunday of the month; other Beyond the Fence events take place as required. 

    Kaipatiki Restoration Network and the Regional Pest Management Strategy

    The Kaipatiki Restoration Network meets every 2 months to allow representatives from volunteer groups across Kaipatiki to share experience and plans. 
    At the April meeting refinements in the support available to volunteers were discussed.  The Network will be reviewing the proposed Regional Pest Management Strategy that is up for review. Look out for meetings about this coming up.  Email LeRoysBush@gmail.com if you'd like to help us put in submissions aimed at reducing the intrusion of pest plants from uncared for properties into public reserves and private gardens.  Or if you have views on getting Council to classify some of the more agressive weeds as "controlled" (currently only woolly nightshade is classified as controlled).  The next KRN meeting is on 22 June.  [11 June2015]

    New Regional Pest Management Plan - consultation in July-August 2015

    The Auckland Council will be consulting on the new Regional Pest Management Strategy in July/August 2015. If you'd like to help make submissions that will help to reduce the impact of pest plants such as moth plant, blue morning glory, pampas grass, climbing asparagus and others, we'd like to hear from you. Please email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com

    Closure of Onewa Road entrance during drainage work

    If you use the Onewa Road entrance, stormwater drainage works have started there. The entrance will be closed till they are complete.  It's a pity the new Highbury Track won't be open in time. The nearest all weather access is from Seaview Ave. [11 June2015] [Note - this work is now complete]

    Discovery Walks - Bush Walk and Talk

    Margi Keys has been a key figure in conserving our local bush reserves and educating children and adults about them for over a decade. Sadly for Auckland, Margi is moving to Whanganui. However, from 21 June there will be a series on Waterfall Walks - including one on 5 July in Le Roys Bush will be taking place as part of a series of 3 walks. Please book through Kaipatiki Project: http://kaipatiki.org.nz/courses/bush-walk-and-talk/. Many thanks to Margi for all she has done for the North Shore and conservation over many years. And best wishes for the continuation of the programme. [11 June2015]

    Progress on new Le Roys Bush Connections track from Highbury

    As at 11 June 2015, the posts are all installed and work is almost complete on building the steps from the Birkenhead Senior Citizens and part of the platform at the bottom  We are still concerned about the health and safety of the special "leaping" kokopu in one of the ponds within the construction site.
    Get in touch if you want to know more: email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com
    The project is running late but completion is now projected for July. We hope this is still achievable.
    We have been walking with the Parks Department and the KLB on issues of concern - particularly the need to keep people, dogs and other pets on the track - to avoid risks to the banded kokopu in the stream and to avoid the risk of spreading kauri dieback to a covenanted stand of kauri.  We are negotiating the construction of a fence along the full length of the track - this will have multiple benefits: providing a handrail for the elderly, discouraging dogs from entering the kokopu pools and keeping people out of the kauri covenanted area.  If you'd like to help with this project, please get in touch. [11 June2015]

    Items last updated before May 2015:

    Mothplant on the rise!  Help STAMP them out! Help save monarch butterflies

    Moth plant pods are forming now on vines across Auckland. When they ripen, the pods will spread massive quantities of seeds that will float across Auckland infesting bush reserves and gardens. Click here to see a new brochure released by Council.  If you have a few hours to spare, you may like to join a group that identifies and cleans up Moth Plant sites - click here for the STAMP FaceBook site.

        
    Some people think it's important to foster moth plant to help feed monarch butterflies.

    This is likely to be a bad move as they can get stuck in it - 




    Pampas Grass

    Twenty years ago the LSB wetland was full of pampas grass.  It has taken countless hours and tens of $1,000s to clear all the visible plants.  However unfortunately some properties around the LRB and LSB valley still have pampas growing - perhaps thinking it's the native toe-toe.  If you see pampas grass growing around the valley, please if you can talk to the property owner to encourage them to:
    (a) Urgently cut off the seedheads and dispose of them in the landfill rubbish before the seeds spread
    (b) Get rid of the plants completely

    It's relatively easy to tell pampas grass from toe-toe at any time of the year:
      • try ripping crossways across the leaf
      • if it has only one rib and it tears across easily, it's pampas - stamp it out - it's an invasive dominating weed
      • If it has multiple ribs and doesn't tear easily, it's probably toe-toe - it's a good native

    Are you concerned about the salt water affecting Little Shoal Bay reserve?

    In case you didn't catch the high tides at Little Shoal Bay round 23 March here's some photos showing the effect of increased high tides at Little Shoal Bay. Do you think that mangroves are increasing in the wetland?  What are your thoughts about this? 

      
    A number of people have contacted us with their thoughts about the impact of salt water on Dudding Park and Rods Island.
    Some people believe it is due in part to sea level rides and to soil slumping at Dudding Park and the yacht haulout area. 
    Get in touch to share your opinions or if you want to know more: LeRoysBush@gmail.com. Tell us if you want to be added to contact list on this issue.

     Some responses  [24 May2015]
     
    Email
    On 23 May 2015 at 20:10, > G wrote: I would like to see the mangroves removed.
     Verbal: I think mangroves play an important role in protecting our coast. (6 May 2015)        
     Verbal: I'd like to see the sports fields protected (22 May 2015)   
     Verbal: I don't think we should interfere too much with nature (23 May 2015)   

    Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan hearings May 2015

    Members of the Le Roys Bush Management Committee attended a "mediation" session at the Independent Hearings offices about Open Space controls.  We put the case that Council should always notify the public about proposed construction and development in informal open space and in conservation zones.  Some may recall when the Glade Place to Valley Road track was rebuilt without consultation making it inaccessible for pushchairs and schoolchildren cycling to school.  In principle, the Le Roys Bush Management Committee is consulted by Parks Department and Council at large about any changes - this is mandated by the LRB Management Plan. However we would not wish other reserves to be adversely affected by lack of consultation. 

    New pipeline at the bottom of Seaview Ave - drilling work from 7 April - now complete

    We have received the following email from Auckland Council's consultants advising that the Seaview Ave walkway to Dudding Park will be closed for about a week sometime between April and June 2015:
    "I am working on behalf of Auckland Council as the Engineer’s Representative’s Assistant for the stormwater renewal works at Seaview Avenue which involves a new pipeline directionally drilled from near the end of Seaview Avenue down to a new outfall down at Little Shoal Bay Reserve.  I have been passed on your details by Auckland Council Parks’ department as I understand that you are part of the Le Roys Bush and Little Shoal Bay Management Committee. I wished to let you know that the works are to begin on Tuesday 7th April.  There will be machinery near the entry to the top of the walkway that runs from Seaview Avenue to Little Shoal Bay Reserve, however, the walkway will remain open for the majority of the approximately 2 month project.  There will be a period of approximately 1 week when the walkway will be closed and I will advise you of when this will be once I receive the final program from the contractor.  We will be putting signs up to advise walkers of the closure and alternative routes.
     
    If you have any queries please do not hesitate to ask.  Regards,  Stella
    Stella Torvelainen BE (Hons) (Civil), Civil Engineer, Riley Consultants Ltd

    Sheila has provided further information as follows: 
    Yes the works is a stormwater drain to replace the existing pipeline that runs from the end of Seaview Ave to outfall just beyond the walkway at the bottom of the bank.  A second drill shot connects a new catchpit at 46A to the main line about a third of the way down the bank.  The existing line will be sealed off.
     
    The outfall and Y junction between the two new pipes will potentially involve disruption to native plants, however, the contractors arborist will liaise with Auckland Council’s arborist to ensure this disruption conforms with the global tree consent associated with the project.
     
    In terms of treatment to manage water discharge into the wetland stream below I do not believe there is any and this is in line with the existing stormwater outfall.  Rock erosion protection will be provided at the outfall.  During the works any fluid/water associated with the works will be bunded off from the wetland/stream and sucked out to trucks which will dispose of the fluid to an approved tip site.
     
    I am not sure if an ecologist has commented on the plans regarding rainfall runoff but I suspect there will be no change from the current situation as the new drainage involves minimal change to the collection points for the stormwater with no new collection points within the reserve that could impact on rainfall run off the plants receive.  I will check if there is an ecologist report for your information.

    Beyond the Fence working bee - Seaview Ave Sunday 19 April



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