News Page for Friends of Le Roys Bush - latest news for 2017

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News for April - June 2017

Next Friday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street, 10am Friday 2 June - all welcome
The regular 1st Friday of the month working bee will be held again in the area between 251 Hinemoa Street and behind the weedy Westpac building.
Meeting place is 251 Hinemoa Street (the entrance to the new walkway). If you arrive late, call 021-240-9414 to find us.
All welcome. Bring gloves, secateurs/folding saw.  Water bottle and sunhat (depending on weather)The terrain requires care.
Note that there will be no working bee on the fourth Sunday of May.

Great weeding bee on Friday 5 May 2017
Many thanks to Paul, Mark, Les, Ken, Kelly, Keith and Geoff for a great morning's work. :Les and Kelly did a great job clearing blue morning vines from trees below Aetherius Lodge, Mark and Ken cleared weeds from along the stream edge below the Rosella Apartments, Paul dealt to an outbreak of climbing asparagus below Aetherius Lodge,  Geoff planted some donated totara and kowhai in the grass area below the apartment block and did some weed clearance around the edges.and Keith released plantings and pulled weeds between the new walkway and the stream.  There are some great seedlings emerging in this area but struggling against the weeds including taraire and lancewood.  This area is not a track - people should only enter it as part of a working bee and with clean boots and tools. Weeds removed included:Moth Plant, Queen of the Night, Blue Morning Glory, Palm Grass, Privet, Climbing Asparagus, Bamboo, Woolly Night Shade, Blue Morning Glory, Convolvulus, Honeysuckle and many others.  At this stage, we are only removing some of the Sellaginella and Tradescantia.until we've got the more dominant weeds cleared.  Thanks also to the rat bait station volunteers. Thanks very much to Les for all the weeding work he's done between formal working bees. 
If anyone else would like to adopt a patch of bush and keep it weed free, please email to arrange training and to get equipment if you need it. 

ANZAC Day Moth plant volunteer working bee and a stream walk to review pollution and erosion

Great moth busting afternoon - preceded by a coffee at the Junction overlooking Le Roys and the harbour. Guess we got about 200 pods? Does that translate to preventing 150,000 seeds floating over Birkenhead and Auckland? Then followed by a well deserved beer with the same beautiful view from the Kaimataara. Thanks Angela, Ann, Dale, Duncan, Pam, Paul, Keith. Someone will post some photos on the Pest Free Kaipatiki Facebook page.

Earlier in the day, I enjoyed a very instructive walk down the Le Roys Bush stream from below Rosella Apartments to the waterfall looking at the ongoing erosion and pollution problems. Great to learn from two experts - Laurie about the soil science of the slips and erosion and Kit about the impact of erosion and pollution on banded kokopu and why we might lose all kokopu from the upper stream. Kit pointed out pools and streams which were once deep and healthy and had lots of kokopu. Now most of them are empty. What can we do?  We hope to meet with an Auckland Council pollution expert next week. But how do we tackle the erosion - Auckland Council no longer applies resources to fix catchments like this.  We hope to prepare a report for the Kaipatiki Local Board to address this.
The photo to the left shows a slip of clay beside the east end of the big bridge where the new track meets the old Onewa Road track.  There doesn't appear to be any risk of structural failure - but what a shame that metres of clay have washed down the stream adding to the mass of sediment in this reserve of high ecological value.  

Note added 4 May 2017: Laurie has done another walk documenting the multiple locations of erosion in the upper Le Roys Stream.  It appears that the problems may only be solved by managing the flow of adjacent sites.

Photos below (KH): Left: Pool newly filled with silt looking upstream.  Centre: Downstream view from pool.  Right: erosion under the new bridge.


Sunday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street 10am Sunday 23 April 

We didn't have a big turnout, but got a lot of bad weeds pulled out - blue morning glory, acmena, privet, loquat and dozens of queen of the night seedlings. .
Most annoying of all was about 50 moth plant vines and seedlings. Retrieved two pods - but there's more pods to collect. Maybe we'll get back to these as part of the Pest Free Kaipatiki moth plant campaign on Anzac Day afternoon.

Suddenly a new stormwater outlet has appeared in the bush - not far from the Westpac stormwater outlet - creating a new overland flow. Hopefully the new building will have a detention tank so we won't get a lot more silt washed through the bush.  (See left and middle photos)

 It's good to see the pohuehue growing under the Kaimataara (see  right hand photo).

Growsafe Certification -  information received 10 April 2017
Would any Le Roys Bush volunteers be interested in getting Growsafe certification? There's a course on 31 May 2017.
Having this certificate will provide an opportunity to learn about the safe use of herbicides etc. Email us if you have any enquiries.

Friday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street 10am Friday 7 April
The regular first Friday of the month working bee was held in the area below Rosella Apartments. The bush was full of noisy tui and other birds.
Many thanks to Les, Lloyd, Lynne, Maureen, Richard and Keith for clearing blue morning glory, convolvulus and other weeds from the natives we planted last year.

Moth plant control in Birkenhead Point, Chelsea, Glenfield and Beach Haven and other areas - helpers wanted - 10am Saturday 8 April
The Pest Free Kaipatiki Campaign to eradicate Moth Plant is going well but there is still a lot to do.
If anyone would like to help with Moth Plant control around Birkenhead Point, Northcote or Chelsea/Chatswood, please follow Pest Free Kaipatiki's Facebook page and help out when people spot an infestation. 
Pest Free Kaipatiki will also be holding Eradicate Moth Plant workshops in a number of locations from 10am to noon next Saturday 8 April. 
See Pest Free Kaipatiki's Facebook page and let us know if you can be part of the team.

Sewage leak from Birkenhead Ave shops
The sewage leak from the shops next to the Kaimataara has now been repaired. (
Hopefully this rain will flush out most of the remaining sewage from the stream - but it is very disappointing that when the Auckland Council CCO Watercare attended the site, they simply decided the sewer pipe was on private land and left it to that. We believe they should have alerted the public to the health risk and ensured that the sewage was diverted back into the sewer lines till the problems were fixed. 
It took a while for the contractor responsibly to actually fix the leak - in the interim sewage was flowing down Le Roys Bush into Little Shoal Bay.
Thanks to Anne-Elise Smithson for preparing a submission to Auckland Council on behalf of the Kaipatiki Local Board. 

Weeding bee at Le Roy Tce and Hinemoa Street entrances to Le Roys Bush 10am Monday 3 April


We had a very successful informal working bee with Beyond the Fence in the track next to 133 Hinemoa Street to clear the palm grass that is starting to go to seed as well as the moth plant growing in the hedge next to 10 Le Roy Tce.  All welcome. Bring gloves, kneeling pad, secateurs/folding saw.  Water bottle and sunhat (depending on weather). 

We'll also take the opportunity to discuss how best to manage the large bushes intruding onto the track.

The natives planted last year are doing well and if time permits we'll deal to the weeds around them to make sure that they get a good start. Rather than pull the weeds out, we may use the "stomping technique" recommended by a parks adviser. This means that the foliage from the annual weeds remains around the natives - protecting the soil and preventing new weeds from growing.

Little things you can do if you go for a walk in Le Roys Bush
Even if you can't get to working bees, here's a few things you can do when you're walking in the reserve:
  • if leaves are blocking drains on the track, please lift them out and put them somewhere safe on nearby soil where they won't crush plants or wash back in the drain
  • if you'd like to adopt a small patch of bush to look after, email us and we'll get you started
  • if you see weeds with seed heads forming, please email the exact location to with a description of the plants seen (add photos if possible)
  • if you see anyone dumping rubbish in the reserve or if you see wasps, broken boards or dangerous mesh on the board walk, please contact the Auckland Council Contact Centre with exact details and locations (add photos if possible).  We had a case recently reported of a landscape contractor dumping garden waste including moth plant pods over his back fence near Highbury.
For other things you could help click here: How can I help?  To find contact phone numbers and email addresses, click here: Report pests, problems & pollution

Beyond the Fence activities around Le Roys Bush and Birkenhead Point
The Seaview Ave and the Wernham Valley Road Beyond the Fence groups both had working bees last Sunday 2 April and as noted above the Le Roy Tce/Hinemoa Street group has a working bee on 3 April.
A new Beyond the Fence group is forming in Willow Bay after a successful function in March.
The Beyond the Fence team has just released its 2017 Calendar with some great events on it including a Birds of Birkenhead on 25 June and and Wine and Weeds on 15 October. Not to mention their Rat Blitz pulsing dates. Join Beyond the Fence on Facebook for more news.

Forest and Bird Weed Control Guide
If you haven't already got a copy, North Shore Forest and Bird have produced an excellent Weed Control Guide PDF - click on the link to download it, or get a printed copy from the library. The guide tells you how to eradicate weeds manually or with appropriate agrichemicals. 

Saturday working bee at Le Roy Tce Sunday 1 April
A shout out to Hugo, Dave, Ben and Keith who helped clear large vines beyond their back fences growing up into the canopy of Le Roys Bush.  

The technique for addressing these vines is to track the vine through the undergrowth and then
  • Pull the whole root out of the ground and coil the vine up and hang it in a tree 
  • Cut the vine just above ground level and dab the stump with a dab of gel (eg Cut'n'Paste Bamboo Buster or, if not near natives, Metgel)
  • Then coil the vine up and hang it in the tree to die.
This should be done before any seeds or pods form. If you are too late, then any moth plant pods should be retrieved and double wrapped and put out in your landfill rubbish

Many thanks to Dave who had spotted the moth plant and Hugo who'd spotted the madeira vine. By tackling these vines before they went to seed, we've avoided ongoing infestation in the neighbouring bush and avoiding the totara and tree ferns from being smothered to death.

News for March 2017

News from Pest Free Kaipatiki at Eco Fest 26 March

 Le Roys Bush members are involved in the Pest Free Kaipatiki Programme which had a stall at the Enviro Fun day held by the Kaipatiki Project on 26 March.

 This photo shows Danielle Grant, chair of the Kaipatiki Local Board, along with Pam Templeton (CHERPA) and Keith Salmon (Le Roys)

  They are holding a new stencil created by the Hadfields Restoration Group using funding from the KLB's funding provided to the Kaiapatiki Restoration Network.

 This stencil (and another smaller one) will be used to paint warnings around stormwater drains about Kaipatiki - including around Le Roys Bush where recent events indicate a lack of awareness and concern about the impact of pollution on our freshwater streamlife.

 If you'd like to help with applying these stencils to a stormwater drain near you, please get in touch.

Coming working bees and other events - all welcome 

  • Please help support the Pest Free Kaipatiki Moth Plant campaign
For more details go to this web page

We are looking for Le Roys Bush volunteers to help:

  • (1) Put up Moth Plant brochures at bush entrances
  • (2) Become Moth Buster volunteers and coordinators.

  • Raupo growth by Glade Place-Valley Road Bridge -  4 March 2017 compared with December 2016
      • Photos from the Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team show increasing spread of raupo above the bridge
        • It's great to get photos of changes in the reserve.
          Please feel free to forward photos and we'll add them to the website. Or simply add them to the LRB Facebook page.

  • Working bee report -  3 March 2017
    • 3 March: Beautiful day for a working bee.Our thanks to Paul, Maureen, Les, and a big welcome to newcomers Mark and Kelly. It'll be good to see the blue morning glory in the trees behind the Senior Citizens controlled and the new plantings from last year released.  
  • Working bees for 2017: our Bush Rescue working parties are scheduled each month for the 4th Sunday of January and the 1st Friday of February 
    • You are cordially invited to join us on our next bush rescue working bees: Keith is back in action after a knee replacement.
      We are looking for other volunteers who'd be happy to lead these events.  Watch this space to the details of each event.
      • Sunday 26 March      10am to noon  - Email or ring Keith for postponement details if rain is too heavy. Otherwise meet at 251 Hinemoa St.
      • Friday    7 April         10am to noon  - Location TBZ
For most working bees, we recommend you bring: gloves, long sleeved shirt and pants, secateurs or small folding saw. Also: water bottle, sunscreen, sunhat,etc.