Friday, September 16, 2011

Halo Photo Competition

Do you have a good photo, that you have taken, (most important) of a Tui or Bell Bird sitting in your "pictures" file on your computer? Why not get it into by Friday 30th September and see if it is a winning shot?

Double click on poster to enlarge

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept Working bee

We are so far ahead with all our work in the gully we thought for the Saturday working bee this month we would support a conservation week project, planting at Lake Areare in Driver Road, Horsham Downs. This is a lake that is being restored right on our back door step. Open the pdf attached to your latest email for details or ring 854-0973 for details.
You can get to Lake Areare,Driver Road either by Lake Road to Howard Road then left into Driver Road or River Road, into Speedy Road then to right into Driver Road.

Board walk

The first stage of the gully board walk is almost complete. You can now walk a small circuit down the steps beside the walk bridge and follow the track round to the right taking you under the willow canopy. You then go over the creek and along the board walk which will take you out to the grass area that has just been planted. A track reserve has been allowed for through the planting out onto the concrete pad.
The board walk is through a flood plain so has been designed as a semi permanent structure. The idea is that if it gets pushed out of alignment during a flood it can easy be put back in place. We will know if the theory works with the first good flood. If the design is successful we are hoping to carry on up the gully to come out at Sexton Road.
Go down and have a look and while you are there spend some time observing the regeneration that is happening under the willow canopy.

Pot up our native plants

We have an impressive number of native plants on hand that we have raised ourselves or been given. A total of 680 over eleven varieties were re-potted into larger pots to grow on over summer. Most will be a good size to plant out next winter. The most impressive numbers are; 190 Astelias 70 of which will be a good size to plant out next winter with the remainder the following year, 126 Kahikateas and 128 Kowhai. There are also a number of seed trays at varying stages of germination that are not counted in this summary.
This was made possible by a funding grant of $350 by Trust Waikato for potting mix and plant purchase.

Mulching looking good

The mulching of the plants in the grass area is looking great and is ongoing. This will have a real benefit in keeping the weeds down and retaining moisture during the summer.

Record the sightings of Tui & Bellbird

Halo are keen to keep their records up to date. They are finding that now the Tui is becoming more common people are no longer sending in their sightings. They would like you to call 0800 800 401 or visit the halo website and log in your sightings.
I thought I saw a pair of Bell Birds in the gully last month but I could not be certain.

Our Tui and Bell Birds are totally unconcerned as to whether they feed on indigenous plants or not. You might like to consider planting a STERILE form of Prunus campanulata in your garden or a banksia. Both flower before the Kowhai so are a good source of nectar for our birds.
Please do not plant them in our gully and make sure the cherry is a sterile variety. The birds scatter the seed of the fertile variety far and wide and they become a weed.


We have introduced our first epiphyte to the gully,Collospermun hastatum. It needs packing out with some sphagnum moss to help it through the summer. If anyone has a couple of handfuls let us know.