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Conservation Volunteers Expand the CUE Haven Forest–June 27- July 1 2011

July 2, 2011

The week of June 27-July 1, a team from Conservation Volunteers NZ stayed over at CUE Haven and worked hard to plant almost 1,700 trees.  This is a significant achievement considering that the team was short handed because a volcanic ash cloud from Chile has been disrupting flights in Australia and New Zealand.  Not only that, they were assigned a rather challenging planting area and our off road vehicle, kindly lent by Scrub Growers Ltd, had given up the ghost so the team had to carry trays of plants a couple of hundred metres to the planting site.

In spite of everything, the group was highly motivated and enthusiastic and pleasure to work with.  The team was led by Peter Hannon of Conservation Volunteers.  Joining Peter were Janire from Spain, Charlotte from Switzerland, Alina from Germany, Arnaud from Belgium and Youn from Korea.

The team arrived on Monday morning and after introductions, unpacking, a short orientation to CUE Haven and a quick early lunch, they went right to work.

On Tuesday the team continued planting in spite of a threat of heavy rain.

Youn and Alina took a break from planting to help Tom shore up a section of the boundary fence.  The fence had no battens and to prevent the neighbour’s cows from sticking their heads (and inevitably their whole selves) through the fence we decided to install battens.  It was a challenging job.  First, we had to carry the wooden battens up the slope and then install them.

Installing a batten on a wire fence requires coordination because you have to hammer the staples over the wire and into the wood while holding the batten, wire and staple with one hand and your hammer with the other.  We installed 60 battens and each one got 7 staples, so that was 420 staples pounded in.  All three of us had sore hands and arms the next day, but the job turned out great and the trees we are planting now have much better protection from visiting cows!

After a rainy Wednesday, the weather turned wonderful on Thursday and Friday.

The team continued on with planting and also took the time to stake some of the trees in exposed areas to protect them from the wind and to make weeding easier this summer.

On Thursday afternoon the team took a break from the re-vegetation planting and planted 6 kahikatea trees in the wetlands in memory of their departed friends and loved ones.

There is always a positive energy at CUE Haven that makes tree planting an enjoyable experience, but the enthusiasm and commitment of this group of volunteers made the week truly special.

It was not all work and the team had some time to relax, watch DVDs and even bake Rollo muffins!

The team left on Friday afternoon, after a clean-up, a well-deserved Pavlova and a group hug.

The team made a great contribution to the CUE Haven landscape in challenging conditions.  We are thrilled with the result and grateful for their hard work and extra effort.

We look forward to seeing you back at CUE Haven to see the forest you’ve help plant grow up.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2011 8:20 pm

    Marook and Tom…

    What a lovely report on our work! I think I am speaking on behalf of all my groupmates saying that you really made us feel as if we were at home, and that doesn’t happen very often when you are so far away from home…

    You made this week very special, and it will be in our memories for so long.

    Please, continue inspiring people with Cue Haven.

    Thanks for making our lives better!


    • July 2, 2011 10:08 pm

      Thanks very much Janire. People like you and the rest of the Conservation Volunteers help make the CUE Haven project so enjoyable and rewarding. Thanks very much for your participation and we hope you’ll come back to see us again. All the best with your studies and career!


      Mahrukh & Tom

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