Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lets Get Started

Weekly Wednesdays
We will start off with having mid week working bees every Wednesday 8.45am to 12 starting this Wednesday 6th Oct. Note it in your diaries. We will meet under the walk bridge accessible from beside either 64 St James Drive or 2 Grenache Place off Coleraine Drive. That is where the open day was held.
I have just come back from a visit to the gully with Paul Duffy, HCC. We have 10 x good sized Kahikatea to plant in an Astelia grandis area.
The focus will be on clearing Honey Suckle and cleaning up the area on either side to the foot bridge with the view of some council planting in this area next winter.
Bring: Morning tea, gumboots, gardening gloves, loppers or hedge cutters or garden shears (no slashers please for safety reasons).

Monthly Saturdays
Oct 16th (Morning because of DOC’s 1pm workshop) Nov 20th, Dec 18th. That is the third Saturday in the month. Could I have feedback on your preference for either morning 8.45am to 12 or afternoon 12.45 to 4pm? We will only have one on the day so the highest number responding to morning or afternoon will win! Thanks.

A Banker
We require a person to operate a bank cheque account for the Group (there will be two signatures on all cheques). This is very basic stuff. We have not yet opened an account so what bank we use is negotiable. If you can help please email Rex at or give him a ring on 854-0973.

Want Stuff
There is a new page (see tag right hand column) listing things that we require for use in the gully restoration project. Mostly it will be things that you may have lying around your home or at your work that may be of no value to you but saves the group using its limited funds (none existing at the moment!) to buy.

DOC Track Building Workshop Saturday 16th 1pm
DOC is running this in Hamilton. This is very timely for our project. It is being held at the gully at the back of Siverdale School. Park either in the school car park or on the road and meet at the far corner of the playing field next to the swimming pool.
If you are going on your own and would like to car pool email Rex at

Back Yard Biodiversity in Canterbury
Published by Lincoln University with the help of funding
from Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust.
This is well worth a read

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Open Day Report

We had 30 visitors attend the day. It was supported by Group members Robin Holdsworth, Greg Evans, Annelise Rogerson and myself. Speakers were, Robin Holdsworth , Wayne Bennett of Forest Flora Nursery, Gerard Kelly HCC Community Planting Co-ordinator and Tim Newton HCC Gully Restoration Officer. Thanks for all their help and support to get the day organised.
The weather held off and the gully was sheltered from the strong wind.
We now have 29 email addresses registered to receive the newsletters plus another 21 representing support organisations. We thank all those people for their interest, and understand that not all will want to be actively involved and that is fine.
Over the next few weeks we will spend a bit of time getting things together and forming different interest groups. A communiqué will come out inviting those that wish to become more involved in these groups. In the mean time don’t be shy. If you are really keen or have good organisational skills get in touch and we can have a chat about your skills on offer.
Wayne Bennett listed 18 different native flora species as he was walking around the gully. I have listed these on a new page “Existing Flora”. This page will be built on as information is gathered.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

All go for the Open Day

We have decided to go ahead with the Open Day. We are expecting passing showers so dress accordingly; rain jackets, umbrellas and gum boots. For those that will not be attending but wish to be kept up to date on what is happening register your email to receive newsletters on;
We look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weather for Saturday?

I am monitoring the weather closely. We are reluctant to postpone the Open Day unless we really need to. I will post a decision by 9am tomorrow (Saturday) at the very latest.
Image source: TV1 website

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Mangaiti Gully Restoration Open Day.

Saturday 18th September
To be held below the foot bridge.
Accessible beside 64 St James drive or 2 Grenache Pl off Coleraine Drive, Rototuna.

The objective of the open day is to see how much interest there is in the community in a local gully restoration project and to show case the gully’s potential. This will be measured by how many people register their email addresses onto the restoration group’s email news letter list.
Restoration in its very basic form is to clear areas of foreign weed and plant species and replant in native flora however we are hoping that there is enough interest to set up a number of groups with interest in biodiversity within the gully ecosystem.
This could involve recording and photographing existing native flora, monitoring bird species and numbers, surveying the existence of native fish in the stream and designing an eco system to support them, investigate the possibility of creating ecosystems to support the re- introduction of native lizards, insects and molluscas, surveying the possibility of a bat colony in the gully system, pest control of rats, possums, hedgehogs and mustelids. For the keen gardeners perhaps growing eco – sourced native seeds for future plantings.
It is possible that some of these group activities could become school projects.

We think it is important that people understand that they do not have to be an expert in any of these fields. Hamilton is very lucky to have a wide range of resources to draw on for support and guidance. Hamilton City Council is very well organised to support community plantings and work in closely with anyone that is committed. Waikato University has a number of researchers covering all the fields of biodiversity and has done a number of research papers on Hamilton gully systems under the guidance of Bruce Clarkson, Department of Biological Science. And then there is DOC, Landcare and Environment Waikato all of which have their specialities.

Photo supplied by Hamilton Press