Conservation Volunteers Finish Up The Planting Season–Sept 12-16
This week, a fantastic team of Conservation Volunteers finished off the planting season and accomplished some major maintenance jobs. The team was led by Pete Hannon of Conservation Volunteers NZ and was made up of Patricia from Germany, Philip from England, Jung Eun from Korea, Natsuko, Konno and Yoshimi from Japan, and Megan from the USA.
The group arrived on Monday morning and after unpacking and a short orientation, they went to work.
They had four main tasks this week and they managed to complete them all in spite of cold winds every day and a few unexpected rain showers.
The biggest and most difficult job that the team tackled was chopping out several large areas of gorse bush. Gorse is a highly invasive shrub with needle sharp spines. You use heavy gloves when you handle gorse. It spreads at an alarming rate and is something you definitely don’t want competing with newly planted trees. Its yellow flowers make it look pretty from a distance but up close it is really nasty!
The volunteers went to work with loppers and saws and lots of enthusiasm and cleared a huge amount of gorse.
The transformation of the cleared areas is amazing and next year we will plant up the area to keep the gorse from growing back.
The team also planted the last of the revegetation trees for the year. We can only plant during the wet winter months because otherwise it is too dry for the trees to establish themselves. They worked in several different areas and planted almost 800 trees.
The group also worked to spread some mulch in the orchard and in some of the landscaped areas of the property.
This summer, Conservation Volunteer teams will work to build a walking track through the gully bush so that visitors can enjoy the gully stream and waterfalls. Ian Smith, National Manager of Conservation Volunteers NZ came out to survey the track plan in order to assess the level of effort and the materials that will be required.
One part of the track will go through an area that had been planted last season so the volunteers moved some of the trees to protect them from damage when the track is laid.
On Thursday, the team took some time off so that some members of the team could plant kahikatea trees in memory of their departed loved ones.
Later in the day, they spent some time with a local family who are moving overseas and wanted to plant trees at CUE Haven to celebrate their time in New Zealand and establish ‘roots’ for their children here.
We really appreciate all of the team’s hard work. Cutting gorse is one of the least enjoyable tasks but they kept at it and kept smiling. The areas they planted will make a major difference in the look of the CUE Haven forest.
Our many thanks again to Pete and the whole team and we look forward to having you back to see the progress of your plantings. And to make sure the gorse hasn’t grown back!