2016 News Page for Friends of Le Roys Bush

  • Some items from our Facebook page 22 December 2016
    • Kaipatiki Explorer booklet

         The 2017 Kaipatiki Explorer booklet has just been published. Look out for the Pest Free Kaipatiki programme page with publicity for the STAMP campaign to rid our suburbs of  the Monarch Butterfly killer erroneously called Moth Plant. You can get your copy from your local library.
         Or from the plastic box on the Kauri Dieback station at the 251  Hinemoa Street entrance to Le Roys Bush

  •  Many thanks to Brendan for agreeing to keep this display box topped up and to the KLB and KCFT for funding and coordinating these booklets.

  •  You can see a digital version on line at http://www.kaipatikicommunityfacilitiestrust.org.nz/Kaipatiki_Explorer/Kaipatiki_Explorer_2017_WEB.html

      "This beloved bush walk offers a chance to get away from everything without having to travel far, offering pristine bush in the middle of urban Auckland.
      The track includes boardwalks, steps and bridges, plus a lookout platform with views of the stream and surrounding bush. The bush leads down into restored wetlands of Little Shoal Bay."

    • Other news
    • Hi all - we hope that you all have a great Christmas holiday and a refreshing New Year. We look forward seeing you out and about in 2017. Best wishes, Keith on behalf of the management committee.

      PS - a few notes:
      We had an ad hoc working bee this morning - pulling out nutgrass, palm grass, queen of the night, woolly nightshade, montbretia, tradescantia, club moss and various other weeds from the kokopu pool down to the area where the drains run down from Enterprise Street. Good to see that EcoScience has controlled the weeds on the bank below Enterprise Street. But disappointing to note that some workshops in Enterprise St continue to wash their engines and stuff down into the stream..

      We also checked out the wetland just below the 3 track junction - pulled out 3 queen of the night - one was 1.8m tall. This area will need a bit of attention soon. 
      If you'd like to help out in ad hoc working bees, please email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com.

      Council's contractors were in the reserve today installing track counters. Not where we agreed they'd be installed - but I guess the contractors have their reasons.

      Good to see half a dozen family groups out walking in the reserve. And nice to have a complimentary remark from one parent with two kids about how well Friends of Le Roys looks after the bush.

      Your committee is delighted to have won a grant from the Birkenhead Licensing Trust/Lion Foundation to get a Restoration Adviser working on the Pest Free Kaipatiki programme. We've also made submissions on a stormwater discharge from Wernham Place into the Valley Road stream. Congratulations to Beyond the Fence groups and rat bait volunteers for their successes. And many thanks to the regular working bees. You are all champions.

  • Kauri DIeback Newsletter
  • Read the December 2016 newsletter: http://www.kauridieback.co.nz/media/46356/kauri%20konnect%20summer%20issue%2030%20final%2021_12_16.pdf

  • Le Roys Bush voted 2nd best walk on the North Shore by North Shore Times readers - 19 December 2016
This beloved bush walk offers a chance to get away from everything without having to travel far, offering pristine bush in the middle of urban Auckland.
  • Le Roys helps out at Chelsea working bee on 2 December 
    • On Friday  2 December, Ken, Keith, Les, Paul and Ted helped Pam at the Chelsea Heritage Park who had staff from Kaipatiki and other North Shore local board offices assisting on a work day.. 
      This was a great opportunity to help our near neighbour get their project going and to repay the help she is giving to launch the Pest Free Kaipatiki Project.
      • Many thanks to the event organizers for the picnic lunch and chocolates.
    • The working bee was below the dog exercise area by the big sculpture.  We helped the local board staff release the native tree plantings on the slope to the south east of this area.  This is the site of the material dumped from the sugar extraction process. The site was steep and like ash in places. But it's a beautiful site with a great view of Chelsea Bay and the harbour.  It's timely to recall the wonderful help that we in Le Roys got from other groups when we were developing our wetland and Highbury bush restoration projects about 8 years ago.  
    • These pictures show the working bee site and Les, Ted, Paul and Ken on the restoration site before weed control began. You're encouraged to take a walk and to admire what the Chelsea group is achieving.

  • Reports on working bees and other events 
    • Sunday 27 November 2016: We participated in the Valley Road-Wernham Place Beyond the Fence weed workshop on properties to the west of 1 Valley Road.  Many thanks to Leanne, Ray, Sarah, Keith and Steve. The working bee cleared and stump treated lots of ginger plant, blue morning glory, queen of the night, pampas and other weeds.  It was worrying to see large clumps of stream bank that have collapsed recently. But on the positive side, great to see some of the trees planted in the "Naturally Smarter" project 

News for 26 October to 19 November 2016

  • Many thanks to the 531 people who voted for the Pest Free Kaipatiki entry in the Kiwibank Predator Free Community Awards competition:
    • We are very grateful to you all - we came third out of thirteen entries so we are into the next round of the competition
    • If you haven't seen our video you still can see if at this link: Pest Free Kaipatiki video with Dalek
    • We are still keen to have your support for the Pest Free Kaipatiki programme
    • Please ask your friends, neighbours, family, colleagues and other people to join us on Facebook
  • If we are lucky enough to win, the prize is predator control equipment to extend the battle to save our native birds and other wildlife from predators.
  • Winning the this award will help control pests in Birkenhead, Northcote, Glenfield, Birkdale and Beach Haven - so it will help Le Roys Bush too.
  • The next round of the rat blitz is about to start. Those of you who are in the programme should have received emails by now.
  • If you have rats and aren't in the rat programme, email us now - leroysbush@gmail.com
  • Also a number of people are reporting possums - if you have possums around, please also get in touch.

  • Notes from the Pest Free Kaipatiki Workshop on Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
    • This workshop was well attended and well received. 
    • Go to PestFreeKaipatiki on Facebook to learn more about Pest Free Kaipatiki's progress to date. 
    • Let us know if you'd like to help.

  • Auckland Council Parks Department restructure 
    • The Auckland Council Parks Department staff have undergone another restructure which takes effect on 25 November.
    • We don't know exactly what the outcomes will be - but we understand we will be losing some of the wonderful staff who have helped us in many ways over the years.
    • We thank them for the wonderful help and advice they have given us over the years and wish them well with their future careers - whether it's in another part of Council or in new fields.
    • Our congratulations go to Paul Duffy who you will remember a few years back as the Parks Volunteer Coordinator. In his new role, he will be managing the 5 Community Rangers (ex Volunteer Coordinators) regionally across 5 sectors. Our best wishes go to him and his team.

  • Notes from the Beyond the Fence walk on Saturday 12 Nov 2016
Beyond the Fence put on another great walk today. The highlights were a close up view of the saline tolerant plants on the Dudding Park field, eels in the stream under the Seaview Ave Bridge and a guided tour of the "Maori Gardens" between the Louisa Wadham Walkway and Seaview Ave.  Jim, our guide, learnt a lot of the details from an old-timer Keith Wadham.
WARNING  please don't walk through this area without treating your boots with trigene to counteract kauri dieback diseases as there are young kauri in the area. 
The old Maori Gardens are a fascinating area with big macrocarpa and lots of invasive pest plants (sweet pea bush, bangalow palm, wattle, etc) and lots of regenerating native bush. The story is that over the centuries local Maori lived and fished around Little Shoal Bay with pa sites on Northcote Point and Needles Eye. Various archaeological sites and middens surround the bay which, until various reclamations took place in the 20th century, reached all the way up to the bottom of the present Glade Place and Wilding Ave. At some point local iwi members developed an orchard which supplied Auckland markets from the land above the old tennis courts and the current bowling green.
This area of reserve contains some old macrocarpa which are reaching the end of their life and, being allelopathic, sour the soil restricting native regeneration.  There are is a mix of weeds, regenerated natives and some planted natives (kauri and a rimu). 
If any readers know more of the history of this area, please let us know so we can add it to our history pages.
  • Report on Sunday 6 November Big Bang Beach Cleanup
    • This was a great afternoon to meet new people. Many thanks to the following
      • Forest and Bird, Beyond the Fence and Friends of Le Roys Bush had displays encouraging participants to join up with the Pest Free Kaipatiki programme
      • A speaker from Plastic Diet talked about the risks of plastic in our waterways.
      • Ian from EcoMatters had an interesting display about saving water and energy in your home. (I signed up for a check in my home).
      • A special thank you to Emma Wingrove and her team at Starting The Change for organizing the beach cleanup.  
        A big thumbs up to the folk who carried out the silt laden foam squabs from behind the mangroves.
      • Last but not least - thanks to Kaipatiki Project for organizing it:  http://kaipatiki.org.nz/ecofest/
  • Report on Friday 4 November working bee
    • Thanks very much to Jim, Kelly, Ken, Les, Maureen, Ted, and Keith (have I missed someone?) for their great work at the working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street.
    • As the photo below shows, we released the plantings at the top of the new track.  And we staked and released the plantings below 1 Birkenhead Ave.  They're all looking healthy. Hope the summer is kind to them.  This Sunday 13 Nov some of us will be off to help our neighbours in Chelsea Heritage Park.  See their notice on Neighbourly.

  • Track upgrades in Le Roys Bush - report on meeting with Council staff and contractors - Tuesday 1 November 2016
    • Eight local residents who have been strong supporters of Le Roys Bush attended a two hour meeting with Nicki Malone and Julie Crabbe from the Council Parks Department along with ecologist Melanie Dickson and arborist Craig Webb.  Here are some items discussed. 
  • Julie and Nicki presented the conclusions of their study of the section of track between Dudding Park and Valley Road which had been discussed in some detail at the bush walk meeting on 11 July. They outlined two options (A) a new walkway up the wetland (B) some realignment along the northern edge of the wetland designed to make the walk more accessible to the general public. With one exception, the local residents favoured option (C) an upgrade of the existing track alignment. The cheapest option (B) was seen as less desirable ecologically.  Most residents supported option (C) because the existing track alignment gives a better bush walk experience.  Most residents felt that option (A) would result in the walkway being closed in by tall raupo on either side. 
  • Previous meetings had expressed a desire for less intrusive balustrades. Julie and Nicki indicated that wherever possible, board walks would be built less than 1.5 metres above ground - avoiding the need for a balustrade. Where this was not possible, the track consultants Frame Group proposed aluminium balustrades rather then stranded wire - which would require heavier hand rails and bottom rails.
  • The meeting felt that the top priorities for track renewals/upgrades were: the very narrow board walk below the three track junction, the Fairfax Ave track, the Seaview Ave track, the existing track from Onewa Road to the three track junction and sections of the track from Le Roy Tce to the three track junction.  
  • Please email us if you'd like more information about the meeting. 

  • New Weed Control Guide from North Shore Forest and Bird

News for 4 August to 27 October 2016

  • Report on monthly bush rescue working bees - Sunday 28 August & Friday 2 September and the BNZ working bee 31 August
Thanks to Andrew, Les, Ted and Keith for a great morning's work on Friday 2 September. Thanks to the approval of the chair of the residents' group at The Birkenhead apartment block, we planted some more native trees below the apartments and cut and treated several patches of elephant grass (arundo donax), blue morning glory and jasmine

If you have access to some eco-sourced native seedlings or seeds that we could use on this site, please email leroysbush@gmail.com.

The working bee on Sunday 28 August didn't attract a big turnout but we got some good tidying up jobs done.  However we had a fantastic turnout for the BNZ Closed for Good Working Bee.  Photos to come.

We are very grateful that for the 8th year, the BNZ's "Closed for Good" team did another great job in and around the Little Shoal Bay wetland clearing weeds and rubbish.
See our Facebook page for photos

  • Thanks from Ashley White
On 3 October 2016 at 14:01, Ashley White <Ashley.White@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz> wrote:


Hope your planting went well and they have established nicely with all this rain.

I would just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to all who have taken the time to participate in a planting this year,

and to our contractor’s New Zealand Biosecurity for helping with site preparation and Stuart from Plantman Limited for such a great supply of plants.

Togther we planted 15,272 plants, with 38 volunteer groups across the northern Auckland region.

So thank you again for your amazing effort, inspiring passion & dedication to make the areas you work in a better place.

Please send this to anyone in your group who helped,


Kind Regards,  Ashley White   Volunteer & Biodiversity Coordinator I North Auckland

  • Visit to Le Roys by Infrastructure and Environment Director - 23 September 2016
Barry Potter, Infrastructure and Environment Director, with Auckland Council team members including Mary Stewart and Ben Paris (not in picture) visited Le Roys Bush

  • Opening of Kaimataara o Wai Manawa - the new lookout at 35-41 Birkenhead Ave -  Saturday 3 September 2016, 10am to noon
The Kaipatiki Local Board's new lookout overlooking the top of Le Roys Bush will be officially opened on 3 September from 10am to noon.  Our committee has been invited to the opening ceremony but the event is open to all.  Some of the Le Roys Bush group were given a sneak preview of the view from the top end of the lookout. The view over the upper bush and the harbour is great.  People have been talking about creating a view from Highbury and finally we have it.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this.  We've been asked not to display photos of the view - please come and see for yourselves.

The view directly across the bush reveals some great tree tops and tree ferns.  Closer to Highbury are the dead remnants of weed trees such as willow, wattle, privet and monkey apple. Directly below the building is bare clay - EcoScience Ltd will be revegetating this soon with pohuehue which should also cover the clay under the lookout.
Many of you will remember what this area looked like 10 years ago - it was full of weeds and rubbish. The area behind the Westpac building was overgrown with massive bamboo spreading down into Le Roys. 
With many working bees and grants from our local board and help from the Parks Department, we have started a wonderful transformation bringing Le Roys Bush up to the Birkenhead Town Centre.  

While there's still a lot of work to do (suppressing weeds, controlling rats and preventing erosion and pollution), this is a good time to celebrate the power of community volunteers to restore our fragile biodiversity
Come and admire the progress in the bush while you admire the KLB's exciting split-level public space in the heart of Birkenhead.

​For details of the opening, see http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/events/2016/09/kaimataara-o-wai-manawa-opening-event/ 
  • Beyond the Fence - walks and working bees
    • Seaview Ave working bee - Sunday 2 October 10am 
    • We are leading two guided nature walks coming up - please join us for one! You'll meet neighbours & hear more about what's going on in the private land surrounding the reserve.
      • Thursday 25th August 10am-12pm - COMING UP
      • Saturday 12th November 10am-12pm
        Meet by the bridge at the bowling club, Dudding Park off Maritime Terrace Little Shoal Bay. 
        Click here for other Beyond the Fence project activities 

  • Pest Free Kaipatiki project - thanks to the Kaiaptiki Local Board
Many thanks to the Kaipatiki Local Board and all the other stakeholders who have been supporting the development of the Pest Free Kaipatiki project.
The steering committee is working with the KLB and other agencies to set in place people and processes to help make Kaipatiki pest free over the next 10 years.
Mark the EcoFest week in your calendar to learn more about it - Friday 28 October to Sunday 6 November.
  • Report of eel fishing in Le Roys Bush stream
We've received a report from a member of the public that someone has been seen fishing with a line and bait in the reserve and had caught an eel about a metre long.  Unfortunately there are no laws protecting native fish. Long fin eels are seriously at risk.  We'd like to hear from the public whether they support protection for eels and other native fish within the reserve.
  • Rat Blitz under way 21 August to 11 September 2016
All those involved in the Beyond the Fence-Le Roys Bush rat blitz should by now have received their new buckets, baits and recording sheets.
If you haven't received yours or you'd like to join the programme, please email us at leroysbush@gmail.com
Welcome to our new Rat Blitz coordinator - Richard Gallen - contact him at leroysbush@gmail.com
And many thanks to Kat Heath, the new Beyond the Fence coordinator from Gecko, for her updates to the rat blitz web page and FAQs
  • Sunday 14 August - report on planting bee at entrance by 133 Hinemoa Str
Linda, Debbie, Mark, Keith, Fraser and Olly planted nearly70 plants down the side of the entrances from Hinemoa Street and Le Roy Terrace.  
Council contractors will stop spraying glyphosate down these area and we hope to see the bare dirt revert to native species.
Species included:

Ferns Kiokio, Blechnum black-spot Blechnum novae-zelandiae 5
Grasses, ground covers Kauri grass Astelia trinervia 5
    Carex virgata 30
  Flax Phormium spp 10
Shrubs, small trees Manuka (white flowers) Leptospermum scoparium 3
  Kumeraho (Golden tainui) Pomaderris kumeraho 10
  Karamu Coprosma robusta 5

News for 16 July to 3 August 2016 

  • Friday 5 August - regular monthly working bee
  • Just two volunteers, Alan and Keith, met at 10am at 251 Hinemoa Street. We released natives just south west of the kokopu pool - lots of montbretia, blue morning glory, various thistles, climbing asparagus.
    Some Arundo donax growing over from the neighbouring apartments. But also so healthy regeneration including some kahikatea and taraire.
  • Sunday 7 August - Seaview Ave Planting Bee
    Sounds like Seaview Ave had a great working bee last Sunday. "We planted 35 Pukatea and Tawa to complete our planting of the area cleared of arundo, ginger and coral trees ... and we were treated with yummy dumplings for morning tea (thank-you to Grace's mum)!"

  • No spray zone and planting at Le Roy Tce entrance to Le Roys Bush
As from 2 August, the entrances to Le Roys Bush between 10 to 12 Le Roy Terrace and 133 and 135 Hinemoa Street will be no-spray zones. This means that Council contractors will no longer spray weeds for  glyphosate.  Instead local volunteers from Friends of Le Roys Bush and Beyond the Fence will plant the clay along the ditches at both these entrances with native grasses and small trees and will do regular weed control.  If you'd like to help with the weed control and with rubbish removal, please get in touch with us.  
  • Next round of rat blitz control

    The next rat blitz pulsing round will be starting mid August and running for a fortnight. You and your local coordinator will be receiving emails shortly.
If you are not already part of the rat blitz and would like to help protect our native birds and other native animals and flora, please email us at leroysbush@gmail.com
  • Silt control
 It's a real worry to see silt from building sites damaging streams in bush reserves. Currently the large housing development at the bottom of Park Ave where it meets Kauri Glen bush  reserve has trucks being washed down with the mud and gravel going into the Kauri Glen stream. Local volunteers and neighbours have been trying to get the runoff from the bottom of  the development and from the trucks monitored and controlled. 

 With the Unitary Plan laying the way for more intensified development, we really need to ensure that Council and developers take silt control more seriously.  

 We are aware of a building site at Highbury which was not managing its silt control fence and silt socks well - they were overflowing before we alerted them.

 Please support any  campaigns about this issue.  And report any cases where you see silt running into drains or streams. 
  • Wednesday 3 August from 10.30am - Building Sustainable Communities  
                                                           Zion Hill Methodist Church Lounge
Mitigation Planting - Kaimataara o wai manawa - Friday 22 July - 45 plants in the ground

The new lookout is nearing completion.  
It will give great views out over upper Le Roys Bush, across to Rangitoto and down to the harbour.   In preparation for opening, some mitigation planting is being done under the platform and in the bush areas visible to the north east.
The opening is scheduled for 4 September - but the cafe won't open till November 2016.

This is what the area currently looks like from near 81 Birkenhead Ave to the north of the Kaimataara

Thanks very much to Maureen, Suzanne, Les, Keith and Steve for a great job done planting 45 natives - silver fern, mahoe, comprosma, kowhai and a big puriri on the slope to the north and north east of the Kaimataara.

These plantings will be maintained by EcoScience Ltd under a contract to Council.

Once the platform is open, there will be further planting of flax and pohuehue on the clay below the platform. 

  • Kaipatiki Restoration Network
The KRN meets every second month with representatives of about 12 restoration groups from around the Kaipatiki area. The LRB report to the meeting on 25 July 2016 can be found here.
  • BNZ Closed for Good working bee Wednesday 31 August 2016 - advance warning
 It's great to know that the BNZ is holding its Closed for Good event again this year. 
 We've had BNZ teams along to help out since 2009. We had a great group in September last year.
 The Closed for Good volunteers been instrumental in getting our programme of work completed in and around the wetland
 If you can help out to work alongside these great volunteers on 31 August, please let us know.
 The more of our volunteers we have there, the more BNZ volunteers we can mentor.
  • Watch out for palm grass

  • "Palm Grass" is a pesky weed seeding all round the area. If you see it, please remove the seed heads and displose of them in a bag in your landfill rubbish.  
    Email LeRoysBush@gmail.com to tell us if you see it growing in or near the reserve.

Other news in our area:

  • Beyond the Fence Seaview Ave group: congratulations to DIana and Mike and the wonderful team at Seaview Ave for the great work they've done in their backyards with bush restoration and rat control over the last year. And now they've done a great job replanting the Seaview Ave entrance to Le Roys Bush
  • Pest Free Kaipatiki Project: the PFK workshop at Rawene Centre on 29 June had a great turnout of ~50 people from a wide range of groups.  The steering committee is refining a vision, strategy and action plan to put to the Kaipatiki Local Board later this month
  • Siltation and erosion in Park Ave by Northcote College: this major development has had the Kauri Glen stream flowing yellow. Congratulations to the Kauri Glen group for its work to stop the contractors washing mud off trucks on the street and down the drain into Kauri Glen Reserve; apparently ecologists are also studying the earthworks to reduce clay silts washing down into the stream. 
  • Weed workshop in reserve below 41 Onewa Road 17 July - residents on Onewa Road who back on to Onepoto Basin are having a working bee at 9.30am Sunday 17 July. Phone 021-240-9414 if you'd like to help them.  
  • Track Upgrade Walk Monday 11 July 2016
Thanks to Adrian, Andrew, Damian, Helen, Jo, Julie, Keith, Laurie, Maureen, Nicki, Nigel for taking part. It was good to have agreed on retaining the existing alignment and to focus on the details of where the track could be widened to improve accessibility for people.  Wonderful to hear from Andrew from Frame Group o what is possible and why arborists/ecologists had made various recommendations. We expect the next step will be to receive more detailed plans that will be used in the resource consent applications.  Even those improvements and realignments that are approved may not take place for many years.  The work will be prioritised to address the most urgent work first.  It was noted that KRN members are very keen to see any risks to kauri given a high priority.  Andrew said his understanding was that where the soil had been compacted over kauri roots for a long time, that the risk of kauri dieback was probably fairly low in such locations. 
Wherever possible tracks which are too narrow will be cantilevered to avoid cutting into an adjacent bank and its vegetation. Where a walkway is rebuilt or added and the drop is more than 1.5m, there will need to be a handrail.  The group has asked if any such handrails could have wire zig-zagged below the handrail rather than closely spaced balusters so that children can see the bush. 

NOTE: It was interesting to learn that tracks can be built across wetland areas on "floating" piles. This has been done at Kendall Bay. 

After the walk, we did some drainage repair near 210 Onewa Road and cleared two logs from the stream that leads from the 3 track junction into the upper wetland.  We hope this may reduce the flooding over the track - but there may be multiple causes for this. We also found some queen of the night by the Birkenhead Lodge and a large moth plant in the upper wetland.

News for 29 June to 15 July 2016 

(Planting at Seaview Ave & Le Roy Tce, Track work, Weeding below Highbury)
  • Friday working bee - 1 July 2016 - planting below Rosella Lodge
The area below Rosella Lodge at 1 Birkenhead Avenue is a difficult site with a lot of concrete and rubble in the soil.  Friends of Le Roys planted here about 5 years ago - then the plantings were largely lost when contractors felled some large privets making the site inaccessible. It took many years of clearance to make the site accessible and restoration has been a long process. 
We've had many working bees to tackle the blue morning glory that was smothering the site - the last one was a very helpful Weed Workshop with Steve Cook of EcoScience Ltd. 

Today. Les, Maureen and Keith planted about 35 trees - totara, manuka, kanuka, nikau, puriti, comprosma macrocarpa and five finger on the slope.  We hope the residents of Rosella Apartments will soon enjoy even more birdsong.

  • Heavy rains on 29 June - drainage success - anyone want to help look after the track?
It was great to inspect the track the day after the heavy rains and see that the new 225 mm culverts by the Le Roy Tce entrance have protected the track. In past years the gravel on the track would have been sluiced out and washed into the bush. The rocks we'd placed in the ditches to catch the rubble and leaves were quickly blocked up and unfortunately overflowed. So we've spread them out.  We will need to clear out the silt more often.  Volunteer help is welcomed.  Further down the track there was a bit of sluicing - the volunteer who has done such wonderful work is going to be away for a while.  If any local people would like to help with the drain clearance or track maintenance, please get in touch with leroysbush@gmail.com

It was beautiful walking through the bush after the heavy rains. The air and bush were fresh and bright.  Here's two shots of the waterfall with a slightly greater flow than usual.

News in brief - 10 to 28 June 2016 

(Planting at Seaview Ave & Le Roy Tce, Track work, Weeding below Highbury)
  • Bird survey 25 June to 3 July 
One of the benefits of the rat control programme is the reported increase in native bird life across the area.
If people can take part annually in this bird survey in and around Le Roys Bush, it will help to monitor how well the LRB-BtF rat control programme is fostering the return of native birds to Birkenhead and Northcote. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/plants-animals-fungi/animals/birds/garden-bird-surveys/taking-part
  • Le Roys Bush track upgrade - further consultation about alignment
    • There will be a further round of consultation on the proposed alignment of the track at a walk and discussion in the week of 11 July.
    • If you haven't received an email about this and would like to have your say, please email leroysbush@gmail.com by 9pm 30 June indicating which mornings of that week you would be available. 
  • Monthly working bees - first Friday of month 1 July 2016 10am and 4th Sunday of the month 24 July 2016 10am 
  •   The working bee on 1 July is at 251 Hinemoa Street.
  •   Please bring gardening gloves, robust shoes or boots suitable for working on a slope.  Also bring secateurs or a folding saw, a water bottle and appropriate clothing for the conditions.
  •   We have some trees to plant - so if you'd like to help with this, please bring a spade.
  • Bush restoration working bee held at Wernham Place Sunday 26 June from 10am to noon
Sarah, Beth, Jo, Steve and Keith worked on the slope between 17 and 21 Werham Place clearing a bag full of rubbish, wide areas of tradescantia, and a range of weeds including blue morning glory, moth plant, wattle, phoenix palm, etc.  It was great to have the support and advice of Steve Cook of EcoScience who helped zap some difficult weeds, identified many weeds and natives 
A neighbour (now deceased) had been dumping his garden waste into the reserve for many years - now the area is littered with concrete blocks, scoria etc which makes it hard to weed and hard to revegetate with natives.  It was great to see many native seedlings such as pigeonwood taking off where the tradescantia was thin or absent. Thanks to the local neighbours for this initiative.  

One plant Steve  identified was native Jasmine (Parsonsia heterophylla) shown in the photo to the left.
The plant is known as New Zealand Jasmine, Kaihua, Akakiore

  • Steve also identified a new potential garden escapee: Dracaena draco, known as the ‘Dragon Tree which is commonly sold in garden centres. He is seeing this more and more being dropped in bush by pigeons.

  • Weeds of the month for June
    • Moth Plant - you need to collect the pods and put them out in your orange bag before they burst and send thousands of seeds floating a dozen miles or more across Auckland
      Join the STAMP facebook group to help wipe out this pest. 
    • Palm Grass - which are seeding at present - there are some beside the new walkway where the Enterprise Street stormwater gushes out under the walkway onto the piles of rocks (see article below)
    • Pampas Grass - there are still some pampas grass with seed heads about to spread far and wide - if you see a pampas grass, get the owner's permission to "dead head" it - ie to cut the seed heads off and either send them to landfill or push them deep into the bush so they can't spread; there is also a white pampas. Neither should be confused with the native toe-toe - this native grass can be identified by the ribs in its leaves which make it hard to tear across.  Pampas grass leaves are easy to tear. 

  • Pest Free Kaipatiki Project - strategy report to KLB in August
The project steering committee has met several times already and held a very successful workshop on 29 June. There were over 45 attendees from bush restoration groups, Council and other stakeholders.  
The Parks Department has employed Kym Burke to prepare a PFK strategy which will take on the feedback from the workshop and will be presented to the KLB meeting in August 2016. 
Many thanks to the Kaipatiki Local Board and the Parks Department for their enthusiasm and support.

The meeting attendees showed considerable support for the KLB project to align objectives and focus available budgets on successful outcomes from Council, contractors and volunteers working together to meet a structured set of goals. 

News in brief - 1 to 9 June 2016 

Planting at Seaview Ave & Le Roy Tce, Track work, Weeding below Highbury)
  • Kauri dieback protection in Le Roys Bush, Kauri Glen, Lynn Reserve and other reserves in Kaipatiki
We are collaborating with the Kaipatiki Restoration Network, Dr Zoe Lyle (Council kauri dieback specialist) and Nicki Malone (the Kaipatiki Parks Officer) to see what can be done to accelerate protection of our heritage kauri trees in Le Roys Bush, Kauri Glen, Bayview, Chatswood and Kauri Park.
We held a meeting on Friday 17 June and hope to see the current track upgrade project updated to show a prioritisation of board walks or track diversion) as soon as possible. 
Dr Lyle advised that for some tracks the only solution short term is to work with the public to close the track to all use - otherwise the kauri are almost certain to die. It will be hard for the public to accept the loss of access - but the alternative is probably worse.
We will be writing to the head of Auckland Council Parks Department seeking more resources to take effective action to reduce the risks of our kauri suffering this debilitating disease.
The Auckland Council Biosecurity Department has completed a report on Kauri protection in Kaipatiki. We hope to be able to report on this soon.
  • Weed workshops with Steve Cook of EcoScience
The programme of weed workshops set up by Ashley White, volunteering coordinator in the Council Parks Department, is growing in popularity. Steve's knowledge and skills are a great help to groups wanting to set up a "Beyond the Fence" group in their street or local area.  The Beyond the Fence group met on Sunday 19 June and discussed the new groups that are getting underway. If you'd like to set up one for your street, please get in touch with LeRoysBush@gmail.com and we'll pass your email on.
The BtF meeting on Sunday was a chance to welcome the new Gecko coordinator, Kat Heath who lives on Northcote Point, and to farewell Mary Frankham who has done a great job as the Gecko coordinator for Beyond the Fence over the past couple of years. Many thanks Mary. Luckily Mary is staying in the area so we hope we'll see her from time to time.  

We had a great workshop in the bush below 266-270 Onewa Road clearing out moth plant (and some pods), pampas grass, honeysuckle, wattle, privet etc.  Thanks to John and Suzanne. 
  • Palm grass embedded in rocks - ad hoc working bee below Enterprise Street 
We first noticed palm grass spreading from a garden into Le Roys around 2009 when we found that the then council contractors were weeding around them.  
Over the last three years we have found it's also growing in the gabion baskets (rocks held together with wire mesh) below the stormwater drain which delivers water from Enterprise Street.  This is now more visible from the new track. On 19 June we had an ad hoc working bee trying to control weeds on these rocks.
We were able to pull out the wattle and loquat seedlings growing in the rocks with very long roots intact.  Pulling out the palm grass and nut grass is not possible because their root systems clump in the rocks and around the wire mesh.  So the best solution seemed to be pasting the leaves with glyphosate gel.  
As at June 2016, the seeds were just maturing and so we cut them off carefully and put them in the black bag. Then we set to work to kill off the various clumps - both big and small.
We tied ribbon round the plants - both to make them more visible for followup treatment and to make it easier to paste gel onto all the leaves.
If you see palm grass, moth plant or pampas grass growing in Le Roys, please post a picture and location on our Facebook site or email details to leroysbush@gmail.com
If you'd like to help in ad hoc working bees to pull out young pampas or moth plant seedlings as you walk through the bush email us and we'll provide you with gloves, training and a black bag.
A passer by asked about the tradescantia (wandering dew) and nut grass also growing on the rocks - we aim to deal to the nut grass before the seed heads mature. The tradescantia is wide-spread and will be addressed in the next phase of work.
  • Water level research at Little Shoal Bay
If you are walking around Little Shoal Bay, you may notice that a research project is being undertaken at the stormwater drain under the bottom of Maritime Terrace to see what the impact is of raising the weir level.  The research is intended to study the impact of reducing saltwater levels entering the wetland and increasing the retention of fresh water in the wetland.  The research is being undertaken by local volunteers who are liaising with people involved in identifying the issues around the salt water that is changing the vegetation on the west end of the Dudding Park playing field and killing off the raupo at the lower end of the LSB wetland. 
  • Planting at Seaview Ave entrance 5 and 12 June 10am - all welcome (NOTE - planting bee now scheduled for Sunday 26 June - plants have arrived)

The Seaview Ave beyond the Fence team did a great job on 5 June tidying up the debris from the Flame/Coral trees at the top of the Seaview Ave track.
They've gathered up a pile of branches left behind after Council contractors cut down the main limbs.  The fragments need to be moved off-site or they risk rooting in and regrowing.

  Some natives were planted down the side of the track where ginger and other weeds are intruding on the track. 

  The next working bee on 12 June from 10am will plant low-growing natives around the site where the flame/coral trees were felled.

  The aim is to preserve the magnificent outlook across Dudding Park, Little Shoal Bay across the harbour.
  Congratulations to all concerned.

  • Wayfinding signage in Le Roys Bush

Visitors to Le Roys often complain about the lack of signage. It is interesting therefore to read the following item in the KLB agenda for 8 June 2016 (ITEM 23):

An outstanding community request is the installation of parks way-finding signage, particularly in Le Roys Bush Reserve and Eskdale Reserve. If there is remaining unallocated LDI opex budget available, the board may wish to consider utilising some of this to respond to this matter. The Parks department has advised that they are unable to deliver the wayfinding signage in the timeframe requested as they are  currently delivering a number of other projects, including installation of entrance signage in 20 key parks across Kaipātiki. A grant to the Kaipātiki Restoration Network (KRN) to install temporary parks way-finding signage would be a mechanism to deliver the signage.

In the same agenda, item 22 notes that:

In addition the Parks, Sport and Recreation (PSR) department provided a proposal to fund an ecological restoration plan for Birkenhead War Memorial Park, at a cost of $25,000. Seven proposals were successful and were allocated a combined total of $145,000 (resolution number KT/2015/86).
Birkenhead Primary School is also applying for funds to control invasive pest plants and to plant large natives. (Attachment C)

  • Bush rescue workshop - below Birkenhead Ave shops - Thursday 9  June

Many thanks to Ashley and Parks for supporting another valuable weed control workshop with Steve Cook of EcoScience Ltd. With Steve's expert and friendly guidance, John, Suzanne and Keith braved the drizzle and a wasp nest to clear a surprising amount of moth plant, pampas grass, privet, wattle, honeysuckle etc.  The working bee took place in the "East of Highbury Project" area directly east of Big Time Cafe where Friends of Le Roys Bush planted over 1200 natives about 6 years ago.  Previously the area was a wasteland of pampas, privet, wattle, willow, etc. The working bee created a sound backbone from which future pest control can be tackled. The work was done mainly to the east of the giant grey willow that EcoScience had drilled and poisoned during summer.  Over coming months, the western side of the willow will need similar work.

  • Second culvert installed at Le Roys Tce & HInemoa St entrance - what plants do you want to see?

On Thursday 2 June, Laurie, Mark and Keith installed the second culvert at the junction of the Le Roy Tce and Hinemoa St track entrances. Planting and some rocks will reduce the quantity of leaves and rubbish running down the ditches and blocking the drain heads - and hopefully this will see a significant reduction in scouring out of the gravel from the tracks.  Please feel free if you see leaves building up in the drain heads to lift the leaves out and place them away from the drain.

We visited a few of the houses neighbouring this junction to ask what plants they'd like to see planted at the track entrance.  We've got approval for the Council contractor to stop spraying weedkiller on the entrance ways.  Once we check out what plants people want to see here, we'll organize a planting bee.

Thanks very much to Cathy who recently moved into the area and kindly agreed to remove an acmena tree from the boundary  - it risks spreading "monkey apples" into the bush. Wonderful to have such good neighbours.

Another neighbour mentioned that dead hedgehogs have been turning up at her place. She wondered if they might be eating rat baits from the LRB rat control programme. We have checked with council experts and we believe that there is no way a hedgehog could get into the approved bait stations we use let alone get back out again.  Maybe some people are putting baits out that aren't in safe bait stations? Anyhow Friends of Le Roys Bush and the Beyond the Fence project can supply free bait and lend free bait stations to all Le Roy Tce properties backing onto the reserve. Please email LeRoysBush@gmail.com if you'd like to participate.

We would also welcome more volunteers to help with planting and track maintenance on the track leading down from Le Roys. If you'd like to become part of a group of Friends of this part of Le Roys please get in touch

  • Monthly bush rescue working bee - 10am Friday 3 June at 251 Hinemoa Street
Today we identified a maintenance access track from 251 Hinemoa St to below 65 Birkenhead Ave.This will make it easier to clear weeds in a quite inaccessible part of the reserve.
Note - this track will be for trained volunteers only. Please don't tackle it without advice. There are a variety of hazards on this route.

We pulled out BMG, moth plant, jasmine, privet, wattle, pampas, and a surprisingly big patch of queen of the night.
Good to see how many of the carex, nikau and parataniwha are surviving. Sad to see how much plastic, cans, bottles and other rubbish is thrown over from the Westpac carpark. The stacks of old bamboo cut about 7 years ago are starting to break down but there's still a lot of bamboo regrowing.

The Kaimataara o wai manawa (the new Birkenhead Ave lookout) appears to have most concrete poured. Bush below is splattered with cement splashes - but should survive.
The new cafe is being built and wiring and plumbing in progress. 

  • Seaview Ave - pampas grass in drainage reserve at bottom of street
For years, there has been a large pampas grass clump growing on a drainage reserve between the two properties at the bottom of Seaview Ave. We had requested their removal in 2015 and are pleased to advise that Council contractors will be looking at the situation in June 2016.  Any solution will need to take into account the stability of the land and the wishes of the adjacent home owners. Hopefully the steep bank will be stabilised with suitable plants (eg comprosma macrocarpa, coastal five finger) and the weed species replaced.  In the interim, FoLRB have deadheaded the seed heads to prevent seeds spreading into the wetland.

News in brief - 23 to 30 May 2016 

(Track work at Le Roy Tce/Hinemoa entrance to Le Roys, Winter rat invasion, Pest Free Kaipatiki, )
  • Pest control - Winter is coming and so are the rats - stop them before they come inside!

The weather has finally showed us that Winter is on it’s way. And with the adverse weather outside, the rats are now starting to head inside.

The pre-winter rat blitz is a key control time for rat management, when the rats are hungry and there’s not much food around so bait take is high.

We are writing on 30 May to all existing rat blitz volunteers. If you haven't received the email or you want to join the programme, (or if you have possums or stoats) see the updated page Rat, possum and stoat control.  And if you see wasps around, click here

  • Monthly bush rescue working bee - 10am Friday 3 June at 251 Hinemoa Street

    We've had working bees nearly every Friday for the last month, but this is the regular scheduled working bee on the first Friday of each month.  Meet at the top of the new track.  Please bring spade, secateurs/folding saw, gloves, stout shoes, water bottle. Long sleeves recommended. We'll be clearing weeds and also preparing a maintenance access track. Look forward to seeing you.

  • Pest Free Kaipatiki Project - 2016 to 2026

We are delighted to hear that the PFK (Pest Free Kaipatiki) project supported by the KLB (our Kaipatiki Local Board) and coordinated by the Auckland Council Parks Department has appointed a coordinator, Kym Burke, to prepare the PFK project plan.  Kym will report back to the KLB at their first meeting in August.  The Steering Group meets on 31 May and Kym has already started meeting with volunteer groups and other stakeholders.  The PFK was initiated as part of the Kaipatiki Restoration Network's activities last year.  The steering group membership includes representatives from Friends of Le Roys Bush, Kauri Point Chatswood Group, the Forest and Bird/Tuff Crater group and the Kaipatiki Project.

  • Track upgrades at LRB entrances by 10 Le Roy Tce and 133 Hinemoa Street 
  • Working bee held to upgrade drains - Thursday 26 May
A great vote of thanks goes to Laurie who has been doing some excellent work realigning drains and regravelling tracks in Le Roys Bush.  On 26 May, he coordinated a working bee with Mark and Keith to replace the old wooden drain with a new larger pipe.   
  • Whenever there is a heavy downpour, the stormwater washes leaves down the drain and blocks up the drainheads - meaning water will run down the track - scouring out the gravel. We'd welcome volunteers taking a minute when the walk by to lift the leaves out of the drain heads and scattering them in the bush. 

Would you like to join Friends of Le Roys looking after the Le Roy Tce/Hinemoa St entrance to Le Roys?
During the 26 May working bee, we talked about how Council contractors have been clearing the two entrance tracks from Le Roy Tce and Hinemoa Street.

We wondered whether we might approach Council Parks Department with a proposal to take over maintenance of this entrance.  Possible actions would include to 
discontinue spraying of the HInemoa St ditch, plant the ditch areas with natives and better control erosion and blockages.  Also it would be good to trim back the hedge on the Le Roy Tce entrance and control the moth plant, blue morning glory, privet and other weeds growing in it.

If you'd like to help, please let us know. 

News in brief - 11 to 22 May 2016 

(Working bees, Rat bait reminder, Tree planting and clearing, Track work, Pollution below Enterprise Street)
  • Bush rescue working bee - 10am to noon Friday 22 May - 251 Hinemoa Street 
This is a continuation of the 1 & 24 April and 6, 13, 20 and 22  May working bees. Meet at 251 Hinemoa Street by the top of the track. If you are running late, phone 021-240-9414 or look out for the signs.
What to bring: robust shoes/boots, long sleeved shirt, gardening gloves, secateurs and/or small folding saw (and hat, water bottle, suntan lotion, etc if required). The working bee will bee will be held below Rosella Grove Apartments and beyond into the nikau grove.
Thanks very much to Don, Geoff, Keith and Ken for a valiant job planting 25 natives on Sunday 22 May 2016 above the site where the flame tree was felled.  The bank was full of rocks and stones so most holes took ages to dig. Thanks also to Geoff and Linda for a barrel of superb compost from their gardens to help the trees along the way.  It was amazing to see how many people were walking the track in the 2 and a bit hours we were there - delightful to see lots of family groups - although most who went down the track didn't come back up - maybe they were worried we'd ask them to help.  Very rewarding also to hear comments of appreciation about the bush.
  • Planting good trees and felling bad ones

Several Beyond the Fence working bees have been held at Seaview Ave planting several hundred trees in the bush between Seaview and Fairfax Ave.  A working bee will be held soon at Seaview Ave to plant more trees down the walkway where today (17 May) Council arborists finished felling the noxious flame trees which were spreading into the bush.

  • Safety for bush restoration volunteers
    A LRB committee member attended a workshop on 11 May about health and safety for volunteers working in parks and reserves. It was a very interesting presentation by Dave Sharp of Conservation Volunteers NZ - giving rise to some thoughts on how groups like ours can improve the safety of our volunteers (and thereby of visitors to our reserves).  We'll tell you more soon.
  • Flame tree removed by new walkway

    • The large flame tree at 251 Hinemoa Street was removed this morning by Council arborists along with the smaller flame trees that had sprouted up around is. Flame trees are nasty things - invasive, limbs fall off, thorny and fragments regrow if left on the ground.  Many thanks to Nicki for following this up. We'll be getting about 25 natives to replant the bank. Please email us if you'd like to help.
      It's a pity that a tall young tanekaha was damaged and felled in the process but good to have the flame tree gone.

  • Dumping and oil and other pollution/waste below Enterprise Street
A Friends of Le Roys Bush volunteer walking down the Enterprise St walkway noticed piles of pallets dumped on the Hauraki Panelbeaters site above the new walkway. Hopefully these will all be cleared away and won't join the massive pile of inorganic rubbish dumped in the early 2000s presumably by the previous occupants, Bill Howarth Panelbeaters.
We've also been told by a business owner in Enterprise Street that some businesses are cleaning down vehicles, engines etc with the waste running down the stormwater drains and thereby into the Le Roys Bush stream.  
Apparently some premises are using "MotoMuck" or similar products.  The product information indicates that MotoMuck is "environmentally safe" - but they don't also make it clear that MotoMuck is toxic in streams and the harbour.   We understand that one business in Enterprise Street has installed council-approved waste water treatment systems at a cost of over $70k. We don't know what other premises are doing.  

We propose testing the stormwater runoff and the streams over coming months to identify the sources of pollution in the stream.   We will be checking the streamwater and any pipes issuing into the stream.  There is one that appears to be releasing gray water near the bottom of Enterprise Street.  

We also hope to replace the old "Flows to the Beach" signs with more appropriate Wai Care signs warning of the dangers to whitebait species. But Auckland Council doesn't appear to have such signs available.  If you know where to access them, please let us know.

  • Rat Control - reminder to keep your bait stations topped up ready for the winter invasion
Winter's coming and although it may not be very cold (yet), rats are likely to start moving indoors.  So it's a good idea to place your rat bait stations on the paths that the critters are likely to follow as they prepare to take advantage of your warmer, drier home.  Keep the bait stations regularly topped up. 

If you need more bait or want to return your reporting sheet, please email us at leroysbush@gmail.com
  • Track upgrade and drain maintenance
Three friends of Le Roys met with the Parks Officer and the track upgrade project manager on 18 May and conveyed the thoughts of the people who took part in the track walk on 7 May.  They will come back with more detailed plans after consulting with the Frame Group, the Council Biodiversity Department and other stakeholders. 
In the meantime, Laurie will install two new culverts under the path by the junction of the Le Roy Tce and Hinemoa Street entrances. The aim of this is to prevent water gushing down the path and washing away the gravel.  We are looking for a fit young helper to assist with the digging.  Please let us know if you can help. 
As you walk from Le Roy Tce down to the three track junction, you'll see the excellent job Laurie has made clearing and upgrading the drains and the track surface.  Many thanks to him. 
  • Kaipatiki Restoration Network and Pest Free Kaipatiki
Friends of Le Roys Bush is represented on the Kaipatiki Restoration Network (KRN) which brings together restoration groups from all across the Kaipatiki Local Board area.  The next meeting of this group is on Monday 23 May where the next step in the Pest Free Kaipatiki project will be discussed. If you'd like to know more about the KRN, please email leroysbush@gmail.com 
  • Congratulations and thanks to a Hinemoa Street family clearing pines and other weed trees
Congratulations to the Hinemoa Street family who have employed EcoScience Ltd to clear large pines and other weeds from their property on the edge of Le Roys Bush. You may have seen the large trees going brown near the bottom of Enterprise Street. Many thanks to the family for caring for our wonderful bush reserve.
  • Weed spotter newsletter
  • The May 2016 Weedspotters Network newsletter has an item on Kauri DIeback and kauri tree rootzones

  • Bush rescue working bee - adhoc working bee 10am to noon Friday 13 May - below Rosella Grove apartments - with bush restoration expert advice on site
This was a great working bee - thanks to the Auckland Council Parks Department's project of providing weed control expert Steve Cook (Ecoscience Ltd) to advise and assist volunteer groups.  Thanks also to Ken, Maureen, Ted and Keith for a great job clearing morning glory, privet, tradescantia etc from thickets of natives hidden under the vines.  It was great to learn at first hand various techniques for clearing blue morning glory and for making it easier to control in the future.  Thanks to Ashley, the Parks Volunteer Coordinator for arranging this.


News in brief - 1 May to 8 May 2016 

  • Track upgrade discussion walk 10am Saturday 7 May from Le Roy Terrace to Dudding Park
 Thanks very much to Laurie, Adrian and Damian for leading the discussion at various stages of the walk.
thanks also to Sarah, Carol, Helen
, Maureen, Marc, Nigel, Sara, John, Ray, Philipp
, Linda and Keith for contributing to the discussion. 
The walk  covered the track down from Le Roy Tce to the 3 track junction, along the narrow track by the upper wetland, then down to Valley Road and then down past the wetland to Dudding Park where we discussed the saltation of the playing field and the proposed walkway across the western end of the field. Overall the feeling was that the attendees wanted to preserve the winding track through the bush rather than a "super highway" across the wetland.
A write up of the walk will be circulated soon. 

Feedback so far on the track upgrade:
We've had about 5 written comments so far.
Overall the consensus seems to be for minimal change to the overall pattern. And a keenness to see money spent wisely. 
If you'd like to see the feedback, email us please. 

  • Beyond the Fence - planting in the Seaview Ave project
    The Seaview Ave Beyond the Fence group has done a wonderful job of clearing masses of weeds from the valley between Seaview Ave and Valley Road. Now they are in the process of planting a wide range of natives in this area.  If you enjoy planting and would like to help please put up your hand.  
  • What's the smell by Dudding Park
    Some people have been asking what the smell is - it's even noticeable from a car driving across the reserve. We asked an expert who told us: 
    It's most probably organic breakdown from high tides resulting in vegetation die back and anaerobic conditions occurring. 
    A sewer leak is always a candidate however - so if you see any sign of sewer runoff please let us know.
  • Pampas Grass on council land at bottom of Seaview Ave - for details see Some events reported

2 May - wasp control

We've has another wasp infestation reported.
Wasps are a significant problem in bush reserves - as well as being a risk to walkers and volunteers.
The DoC site http://www.doc.govt.nz/waspcontrol outlines how wasp control can be undertaken. 
The wasp bait technology is described at http://www.merchento.com/vespex.html
If you'd like to help with wasp control around Le Roys Bush, please get in touch.

If you see a wasp nest in a public reserve, please call the Council contact centre: info@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or 09-3010101 giving the exact location.

News in brief - 12 March to 19 April 2016
 1 May (Sunday -POSTPONED FROM 24 APRIL due to rain; even if rain stops, the blue morning glory is so dense, it will be frustrating to work on) and 6 May (Friday) - working bees to rescue native trees from blue morning glory vines - 10am to noon

And 1 May (Sunday) - Beyond the Fence from 10am - 31 Seaview Ave

19 April - LRB track upgrade

An onsite meeting is planned at 10am on Saturday 7 May to discuss the proposed upgrades to the LRB track network. (Meet at LeRoy Tce entrance). The main changes proposed are to upgrade the tracks from Glade Place to Valley Road and from Dudding Park to the Three Track Junction to remove any steps.   If you haven't received an email about this, please get back to us - LeRoysBush@gmail.com

10 April - fencing needed to keep dogs to the track

When the new track was being built, we discussed at length how we'd protect the native fish habitat and the kauri trees from people and dogs. Luckily a lot of the track is fenced, so we deferred any further action hoping that the new bylaw (requiring dogs to be on leash), signage and education would encourage dog owners to keep their dogs to the track.
However this weekend we found dog foot prints indicating that some people people are not observing the bylaw. So regretfully we will be holding a working bee shortly to fence off other sections of the track, to keep dogs out of the bush and stream.
If you would be happy to help with the working bee or can donate materials, please email leroysbush@gmail.com.
Note to responsible dog owners - we see many dog owners respecting the bush and the bylaw.  If you see other dog owners who have their dogs off leash, please ask them to be considerate and show some respect.  Remind them that the fish, kauri and other fauna and flora in the bush is as important to many people as dogs are to their owners. 

9 April - congratulations to new Beyond the Fence group

We are delighted to hear that a new BtF group is being set up around the Valley Road gully.  Best wishes to you all. 

1 April 2016 - Friday Bush Rescue working party rescued totara, karaka crushed by BMG

BEFORE: this photo shows part of the area tackled by the working bee - just a load of bumps and hollows blanketted by Blue Morning Glory (BMG) - an aggressive fast growing vine that will send long tendrils metres across your lawn before climbing up a fence of tree. 
Under this blanket of BMG, there are a bunch of self-sown and volunteers planted native trees struggling for the light.  Adding to the problems in this edge of Le Roys Bush below Rosella Apartments at 1 Birkenhead Avenue, an unknown contractor once felled a row of large privet trees crushing native plants in the reserve and removing the shade from this small slope between a large retaining wall the Wai Manawa - the Le Roys Bush stream.  
Because volunteers are not allowed to use chain saws, it has taken many, many hours to hack through the fallen privet with small folding saws. It's difficult territory because, like some other locations around the bush fringe, uncaring developers have thrown concrete down the bank into the reserve.
The 1 April working party was no joke - it was hard to know where to start on the job in hand.
After two hours, Ted and Keith had uncovered a lot of natives struggling away under clumps of BMG like those shown on the left.  

  AFTER: here's the results of part of Ted's work - a clear patch that with careful work revealed a young totara almost flattened by the weight of the BMG.
   We found many karaka, ferns, cabbage trees, etc also blanketted by the BMG. 
  And there's still plenty of BMG to go on this site and many others around our suburbs.
  (Some of you may remember the BMG which climbed up trees on the north boundary of 83 Hinemoa Street and after a couple of years, the trees were dead.)
  At the top of the photo on the left you can see BMG flowers up in the tree tops and more on the ground below. 
  If you'd like to help with some ad hoc working bees over the coming weeks, please get in touch with Keith
  Let's rescue some more bush from this boring mangler of green biodiversity. 

On the high retaining wall next to this section of the reserve, there was a tiny skink.

Even highly enlarged it's hard to tell if it's  a native copper skink or the pest Plague (aka Rainbow) skink - download this Council PDF to see how they differ.

Weeds of the month around Le Roys Bush - Blue Morning Glory and Moth Plant

Tackle these weeds in your street and join us on 27 March and 1 April to stop them smothering Le Roys Bush

Blue Morning Glory:

This vine will grow rapidly into ferns and trees and smother them.

If you see any around your property: cut the vine at chest height and let it die in the trees
Then try to pull it out by the roots or use these other Blue Morning Glory control methods 

Moth Plant (join the Moth Plant Facebook page here) 
If you see any around your property: put on gloves and old clothes with long sleeves.
Cut the vine at chest height and let it die in the trees
Use a rake to pull down all pods and then put them out in your landfill rubbish.
Then try to pull it out by the roots. 
Then try to pull it out by the roots or use these other Moth Plant control methods

27 March 2016 - monthly Sunday Bush Rescue working bee - met 10am next to 1H Valley Road - rescued 


Many thanks to Averill, John, Don, Jan, Jim, Keith, Maureen, Roger for a solid morning's work on blue morning glory smothering native bush and climbing up big trees next in Valley Road.  

The team also cleaned up moth plant, many wattles, kikuyu and lots of bottles, cans, plastic.  The blue morning glory had climbed out across the wooden walkway and up the fence placed by AT to close the board walk. 

Many thanks to Roger for taking away the green waste in the KiwiVision trailer. He is kindly providing several trays of mountain flax and some small trees to tidy up the wasteland on the street edge of the reserve.

The next steps will be to tackle the blue morning glory, woolly nightshade and other weeds spreading in private property between 1 Valley Road and the east side of Wernham Place and also to control blue morning glory regrowth in the reserve.

A small swarm of wasps discouraged us from clearing all the wattles - but we'll be back after they have been cleared by the Council wasp expert.  (We rang the Council service desk on 09-3010101) to ask them to call the wasp expert. But they insisted that this patch of bush is DoC land - so we rang DoC who confirmed that Auckland Council is responsible for managing all of Le Roys - even those bits technically owned by DoC.


1 April 2016 - monthly Friday Bush Rescue working bee - meet 10am at 251 Hinemoa Street

What to bring:  robust non-skid footwear, gloves, secateurs/folding saw, water bottle and insect repellent if you are bothered by sandflies (if there are any).
What we're rescuing: Blue morning glory is spreading through the trees in the reserve below Rosella Apartments

Early April 2016 - Le Roys Bush Track Upgrade consultation meeting

The committee will be providing feedback on the track renewals project for Le Roys Bush
A plan is being prepared by the track specialists Frame Group Ltd.
If you'd like to join the LRB management committee to discuss recommendations to Council, please email leroysbush@gmail.com

3 April 2016 - Seaview Ave working bee -  For details of this and of other working bees see the Le Roys Bush Calendar

4 April 2016 - Kaipatiki Connections Network Plan Review - stakeholder workshop - 6 to 8 pm, 15 Chartwell Ave, Glenfield 

Give your feedback on the next phase on the network of walking and cycling connections across the KLB area
Light refreshments will be provided. For catering purposes, please RSVP by Thursday 31 March 2016 to nicki.malone@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

6 April NZTA drop in session on Naturepath/Seapath from 6pm (also 31 March and 1 April)

Remember the NaturePath/Seapath proposal? NZTA is currently favouring an option that is very similar to Forest and Bird's NaturePath.
NZTA is seeking feedback from the wider community on the proposed route for SeaPath, a walking and cycling route between Akoranga Drive/Esmonde Road and Northcote Point
If you support this, let them know - for more information on how to submit, go to: https://sites.google.com/site/walkbikeridekaipatiki/

19 Feb to 3 April 2016 - Rat Blitz  - new bait for two week pulsing phase

  • An email went out to the 40 plus rat blitz volunteers at about 6.30 pm Monday 14 March 2016.  
  • If you didn't receive a copy, would like to join the programme or need more information please email leroysbush@gmail.com
  • Go to Rat, possum and stoat control for more details

History of Edward Le Roy

We have just received by email a copy of a wonderful 17 page history of Edward Le Roys (born 1865, died 1947).
It was compiled by Margaret Peacocke in March 2016; she is a great-grand-daughter of Edward’s brother Albert Le Roy.
To read the story go to the page Edward Le Roy & family

Council pest search website upgraded

The Auckland Council website has been upgraded making it easier to search for pest animals and weeds and to find out how to control them.
Hopefully soon it will be extended eg by making it easier to identify plants by its flower colour, leaf shape etc. 

Tree of the month

One of the fascinating but little known trees in our local bush reserves is the putaputaweta - inhabited as its name suggests by the weta.

See some beautiful photos in  Putaputaweta World from Wade Doak

We had several ad hoc working bees over the weekend 12-13 March

(a) at the pathway that links 90A Onewa Road to Wilding Ave - three large pampas grass were dead-headed to prevent seeds spreading into Lutner Reserve.  Also found a large number of moth plants on both sides of the track

(b)  below the Birkenhead Ave shops, we dead-headed a pampas grass and released many trees and shrubs from convolvulous and blue morning glory.

There is a major outbreak of blue morning glory below Rosella Apartments at 1 Birkenhead Ave.  If anyone is willing to help with an ad hoc working bee please get in touch.  

Creating a pest-free Kaipātiki
An excerpt from the KLB newsletter 

With more than 530ha of reserves and open space, the Kaipātiki Local Board area has the largest expanse of native vegetation in urban Auckland. The local board wants to see this area pest and weed free by 2026.

The concept came from the Kaipātiki Restoration Network, a group of volunteers who look after local reserves. The first step is to develop a plan of action. Auckland Council’s parks team will lead this, with the biosecurity team and local parks volunteers. The plan will be completed by June.

Community workshops will be held in March and April to identify issues and solutions. To get involved, email pestfreekaipatiki@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz  

News in brief - 3 to 6 March 2016

  • The old leaning kahikatea on the Onewa Road track just up from the entrance to the new boardwalk was removed early March, with minimal damage to the understorey. This kahikatea was old and an arborist assessed it as a potential risk to public safety.

  • Also a Council contractor has inspected the two pukatea that fell in a storm recently by the junction of the 3 tracks. He has cleared the one that was arching over the Onewa Road track. A team will go in soon to remove the remaining limbs that are suspended in other trees next to the LSB track.
  • A manager of NZ Bio Ltd (Council contractors) texted to say that a team will be doing weed control in Le Roys and LSB reserves next week. 

    If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know and I'm happy to liaise with them. [2016-03-03]

We had a successful Friday working bee today below Enterprise Street. Many thanks to Alan, Les, Keith and Ted. Great to see self-seeded kahikatea growing in amongst the convolvus and other weeds. Cleared gorse, giant reed, pampas, convolvulous and heaps of annual weeds. [2016-03-04]

The Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team reports more pollution just below the kokopu pool.  Some oily water intruding on the stream with unduly high ammonia readings. This pollution is likely to destroy the fish habitat in the stream below that point.  For details see Some events reported

On Saturday 5 March a bush rescue working bee was held to assist an 87 year old resident who has been clearing the bush below her house for the past 43 years; following a fall she is no longer able to do so. Thanks Elizabeth for your kind donation to LRB funds. We cleared a lot of Blue Morning Glory, ginger, acanthus mollis and one strand of moth plant. 
She also pointed out that there is a lot of blue morning glory growing in the bush on the west side of Valley Road and creeping across the footpath and into the barriers placed there to close off the wooden footbridge. We may have a working bee there to start controlling the bmg in the reserve below this footbridge.  We also hope to work with the residents on the western side of Valley Road to control the variety of pest plants which risk sending a wide variety of weeds down into Le Roys. 

The Seaview Ave "Beyond the Fence" working bee on Sunday 7 March went well - although some of last year's plantings weree hiddey by very tall black nightshade and nut grass. Good to welcome a new family joining the group. 

News in brief - 24 February 2016

  • Two trailer load of flax bushes removed from a building site have been donated to us. These will be planted around the wetland at the Bush Rescue working bee on 28 Feb.
  • The committee was represented at a meeting at the site of the new lookout platform on Birkenhead Ave to discuss mitigation planting and a possible storage area for the Friends group [24 Feb 2016]
  • A pollution event from around 24 Enterprise Street was reported on 21 Feb and passed on to the Council pollution team. See Some events reported for photos of this spill.
  • A case of weed waste dumping was reported on 20 Feb. This has been passed on to Council's contract management team.
  • A wasp nest was detected at the bottom of the new walkway steps on 20 Feb - it was reported to Council and their wasp expert dealt to it on Sunday.
  • Two pukatea trees fell at the junction of the Le Roy Tce track with the Onewa Road and Little Shoal Bay tracks. Thanks to volunteer Laurie for tidying this tree up. The arborists are due to remove both trees soon [24Feb2016].
  • The "Love your Parks" event was held on 14 February with a great crowd estimated at 150 people. Many thanks to the Kaipatiki Local Board, the KCFT and the Parks Dept. 
  • At the February committee meeting, it was decided to "re-brand" our supporters group as "Friends of Le Roys Bush".  The committee will continue to operate as the Le Roys Bush Management Committee. The charitable trust will retain its name of Le Roys Bush and Little Shoal Bay Reserves Charitable Trust. 

Willow, bamboo control in Highbury

Many thanks to Ashley, the Parks Department volunteer coordinator, for providing the funding for EcoScience Ltd to control the large and expanding grey willow at the top of Le Roys Bush just below the new Kaimataara o Wai Manawa viewing platform. [2 Feb 2016]

Advance warning of track closure

A dead kahikatea needs to be felled in the interests of public safety.
The work is ​scheduled for 2-Feb-2016 - the track from Onewa Road and 251 Hinemoa Street may be closed from about 9.30am for about 5 hours. [2016-02-05 - we got an email from a resident to say the work had been done].
Alternate day ( Inclement weather) – 10th Feb 2016.
Signage will be put up to notify the public.  [Posted 2016-01-25]

EIF Project 2015 in Little Shoal Bay Wetland - wrap up

The 2015 wetland project saw the end of another phase in the restoration of the Little Shoal Bay wetland - the end of the EIF (Environmental Improvement Fund) from which Auckland Council has provided massive assistance in allowing us to hire EcoScience Limited to control crack willow, pampas grass, honeysuckle, climbing asparagus, wattle and many other pest plants in the North Shore's second largest raupo wetland.  Many thanks to the Auckland Council's elected representatives and council staff who have assisted us in this project. However the work will continue and we will be looking for other sources of funding to assist with this work.  The BNZ Open for Good project has also been a vital source of support for many years and we hope to see them again in future. 

Newsletter sent out 20 January 2016

If you haven't received the following email but would like to, please email us.

Hi all

Happy New Year to you. We hope you've had a great summer so far this year - in between the rain.

Maybe you are among the many people who have walked the new walkway from the Senior Citizens Hall at 251 Hinemoa Street down the valley past the bottom of Enterprise Street to join the old walkway between Onewa Road and the waterfall.

Feedback on the walkway has been very positive from a wide range of people with congratulations all round to the old NSCC for initiating the purchase of the land and to the KLB for getting the track built.  

We would welcome feedback on our new Le Roys Bush Walks smart phone pages - to give you maps and other information that is readable on your phone while you are walking through the bush. 

Our next working bee is this Sunday - 24 January from 10am and would particularly welcome an hour or two of your time from fit people who don't mind clambering around on a steep slope.
We hope to clear some of the inorganic rubbish from the slope at the bottom of Enterprise Street and to control the beggars ticks, yucca and other weeds before they spread. We have permission from the Hauraki Panel and Paint to access this area below their workshop.  What to bring: Gardening gloves and clothes/boots suitable to work on a steep slope.  Also hat, water bottle etc.  Meeting place: come down the steps from 251 Hinemoa Street.
Time dependent, we'll also do some weed clearance and maybe a bit of No 8 wire fencing. Look forward to seeing you there.

We have started new working bees on the first Friday of each month - in addition to the last Sunday of each month. The first session cleared a lot of ginger plant and tradescantia beside the steps going down from 251 Hinemoa Street. Two volunteers have also done some work since then on Friday and Sunday mornings clearing beggars ticks, montbretia, palm grass and other weeds. If you'd like to join us on the first Friday of February from 10am we'd be delighted to see you.

The track had a quiet opening with a blessing in December and there will be a KLB event to celebrate the new track on 14 February - Valentines Day (click here for their Facebook page). This event will provide a chance for the public to meet with local volunteer groups including the Le Roys Bush committee, Beyond the Fence project members, the Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team and others and to learn more about the bush, the banded kokopu and other aspects of our beautiful native bush. Council tells us that signage on the new track will be installed in the next week or two.

The past year has, alongside the success of the track opening and various bush restoration projects, had a few ups and downs.  During the period of track construction, the unique jumping kokopu disappeared from the pool at the bottom of the track. At last count four had returned.  Hopefully more will return.  The construction project did some replanting in November alongside the track which has attracted some concerns about its ecological appropriateness.  We will address that in autumn.  We will also do restoration planting and seeding on the slope below the panel beaters at the bottom of Enterprise Street.

There is more news about the track on our website and notes about the working bees we've had recently and plan for the future.

We will also be contacting all rat control volunteers soon about the next rat control phase using a different bait. Some volunteers report almost nil rat activity. However one volunteer in Wernham Place reports renewed activity. 

Please join the Le Roys Bush Facebook page so you can get news and photos from time to time and keep an eye on our news page.

Questions and comments welcome to LeRoysBush@gmail.com

Best wishes from the LRB Management Committee

Other topics coming up soon:

  • Erosion in Le Roys Bush streams and what can be done
  • Pest Free Kaipatiki project approved by KLB