Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hamilton City Council Kowhai Community Group Award

What a great end to the year. Mangaiti Gully Restoration Group was nominated by a number of people and won the HAMILTON CITY COUNCIL KOWHAI COMMUNITY GROUP AWARD and received $400 for our work in the local environment through community involvement, pest control, clearing, and planting. Our thanks have to go to Hamilton City Council and particularly the enthusiasm and encouragement of Gerard Kelly, Paul Duffy and Tim Newton for their support. It is that time of the year that acknowledgement and thanks must also go to all those people who have given up their time as a volunteer or who have contributed in other ways. It is your contribution that is making the Mangaiti Gully project so successful.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Sexton Road track access upgrade

With all the house building going on at the end of Sexton Road we are in the process of closing off our access down the side of the gully and opening an old existing track where the concrete storm water spill way / path runs from the road to the gully top. This will become a public walkway once it has been developed and will eventually connect up with the walkway system at the foot bridge.

The track after heavy rain

After a lot of overnight rain an inspection was made of the board walk and general track infrastructure. All things considered everything looked good. The water was only just up to the board walk. The modifications to the track under the tree ferns remained above the water line so was sound.
The pit sand on the track through the planting could do with compacting when it has dried out a bit. The drains under the track were carrying water as it supposed to. Generally things stood up very well.

Tracks at the Foot Bridge

The track across the new planting has had matting and pit sand spread along it. The matting is to stop the track disappearing into the mud during the winter. It was inspected after heavy overnight rain and all the drains and culverts were directing water in the right direction. The matting was donated by Apparelmaster Waikato.
The track under the tree ferns has also been completed.

Possum traps available

We have purchased three DOC 250 traps (Rats, Hedgehogs and Mustelids) and two cage possum traps. These were funded by the Waikato Regional Council’s Small Scale Initiative Fund. While we will be using the possum traps ourselves they will also be available to anyone that is having possum trouble in their back yard and it does not necessarily need to be our gully. The overall policy is to get rid of as many possums as possible.

Kingfisher nesting

There have been sights of Kingfisher burrowing into an old rotten tree trunk. They have been very active around the new planting area below the foot bridge for some time. A rat trap has been placed at the base of the tree to help prevent any attack on a nest by rats. It is interesting to note that fauna make use of the old and decaying as something like a tree goes through its cycle. It’s the difference between natural areas and gardening. With natural areas we leave things to a natural cycle with a bit of a helping hand and guidance from us at times and gardening we would clear away all unwanted plant material to ensure everything was nice and tidy.

Little Shag

A little Shag or Kawaupaka (we think) was spotting on the walk bridge on a very wet Sunday. This is the first one that has been seen by any of us. It may be just passing through. If anyone living on the gully has seen one before or can confirm that it is a regular please let us know. It you double click on the photo then it should enlarge so you can get a better look at it.