Catchpool Restoration Project Update - November 2019
Corporate volunteers from ACC near the end of
their volunteer day down at the wetlands restoration area of the
Catchpool Valley, Remutaka Forest Park. Here, they engaged in some
impressive hydro-engineering tasks (ahem, water play!) where they
re-connected a water course across the gravel road from one of the many
streams that feed the wetlands. Photo credit: PC.
exhausted bodies at the end of a hot, hard physical day's work over at
the Catchpool wetlands. Here they are seen digging a channel across the
gravel road to reconnect the stream to its former watercourse. During
the day, they also destroyed large amounts of weeds (like Old Man's
Beard, buddleia, gorse, and blackberry vines) and then planted some
kowhai and kanuka trees and a few nikau palms in their place.
Pair of ACC volunteers planting one of
several a kowhai and kanuka seedlings to replace the wilding pines
removed from the site. These natives will provide more appropriate bush
tucker for the local birds, lizards and insects. Photo credit: PC.
Here's a small segment of the wetlands area
we've undertaken to restore. It already harbours considerable wildlife
and will become an even better haven for native biodiversity once we've
removed the weeds and undertaken some appropriate riparian planting. Now
that we have easier access, following exploration and mapping, we have
found that the wetlands extensions cover a much more expansive area than
previously thought - Photo credit: PC.
Wetlands restoration begins in earnest
Mallard duck peeking through the bullrushes
and sedges at the edge of the wetlands. Paradise Shelducks, kingfishers,
pukeko, grey herons, and even shags, are frequently seen in this area
between the Catchpool Stream and the wetlands access road. Photo
Now that the access roadway has been cleared - allowing us to easily
transport volunteers and tools to the wetlands restoration zone - we are
getting stuck into the task of transforming the area into an attractive,
thriving wetlands eco-system. This is with a view to creating a
new loop track and boardwalks and viewing platforms suitable for safe
access to the wetlands by visitors of any age or physical capability.
Wheelchair access for disabled folk - and pram-friendly boardwalks
for parents - is part of this vision.
Couple of ACC volunteers holding up a thick
segment of the Old Man's Beard vines that we cut during the day's work
at the bush area adjacent to the wetlands restoration site. We found
much more of an infestation of Old Man's Beard than we expected on our
way to other known, GPD'd sites. So a LOT of cutting and pulling was
done in the bush just across the Catchpool Stream from the access road
near the Nature Trail picnic area. Some of the vines were as thick as
your thigh! Photo
In other Restoration Project News
Had a brief meeting with our Nursery Manager, Jonathan Bussell, regarding
collection and establishing new lines of seedling trays for growing in
our nursery. We'll be getting together again soon, working through the
we helped Masters student, Roald Bomans create during the process of
re-writing our Restoration Plan. Particular emphasis will be placed on
our riparian and wetlands restoration needs.
Aim is to fill our nursery with plenty of new native tree seedlings
next year for the nursery group to tend until they're big enough to
plant out in future winters.
Corporate Volunteers enjoying BBQ lunch
volunteers cooking BBQ lunch in the campground kitchen during their
volunteer day at the Catchpool. The vegetarian kebabs were a big hit.
Photo credit: PC.
Anticipated near-term expenses...
- Wheelbarrow repairs (Replacement tyre) needed
- More seed-raising and potting mix - plus some bags of
- Replacement tools and leather gloves
- Sundry PPE items for volunteers, like sunblock, antiseptic
handwash, First Aid kit consumables, etc.
- Volunteer refreshments supplies
Map of the restoration zones operational
area provided to Contact Energy staff ahead of their Volunteer Day
down at the Remutaka Forest Park. The ACC team were provided with
similar preparatory material prior to arrival.