Target audience for this document; schools and people who own their own bit of a Hamilton gully. Rather than duplicating a lot of information already about, I have included links that will have more detail on the subject being discussed. This is not a definitive list but things that, I hope, will get you thinking and inspire you to start restoring your gully.First things first. Every site is different so there is no template for your site.
Generally the starting point is flora, plants. What native plants are already present? What native plants should you be planting? What weeds are there that need eradicating?
• An excellent booklet has been produced by Hamilton City Council called Gully Restoration Guide. This is the nearest you will get to a template. Council may still have hard copies available on request.
• Professor Bruce Clarkson, University of Waikato, has researched the historic flora of Hamilton Gullies. This link is to the list of plants for wet gully floors and drier gully slopes that Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust use. A more comprehensive list is available on request by emailing email@example.com
Stage one, weeding and plantingDo a quick survey of your site then;
|Figure 1. Board walk, shingle path and bridge (back left)|
designed for a wheel barrow
- Identify any native plant areas that may already be there. These may only be understorey plants like ferns and tree ferns but they give you a starting point.
- Develop access tracks, ideally good enough to use a wheel barrow on.
- Start restoring from the good bush out. This may mean you do several different pockets within your area. Don’t try and do the whole area all at once.
- Restoring is not gardening. Leaving logs, branches and woody weeds to rot on the ground is not only acceptable but desirable. It is habitat for native invertebrates and skinks and saves you wasting a whole lot of energy and time removing them.
- If you are planting pioneer plants (the first shrubs planted into open ground) then 1 metre centres is considered the norm. However for canopy trees, 5 metre centres is the minimum. So many people make the mistake of planting canopy trees close together as if they are shrubs.
- Native trees are available at reasonable prices from Tamahere Community Nursery contact Jan Simmons at DOC bus. 07-858-1010 ; Whatawhata, Betty Collins, Ph 8478-271, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ngaruawahia www.forestflora.co.nz and Newstead, Full Bloom Nursery, www.fullbloom.co.nz
- You might like to grow some of your own native plants. Some are quite easy and quick to grow, others are hard to get a germination and can take a long time until they are ready to plant out (3 years or more). There are a number of sites on the internet that can advise you.
Stage two, native fauna (animals)
Native fish in your stream (if you have a stream).
|Figure 2. Banded Kokopu|
You might like to consider feeding the eels. They respond well to regular feed times. Tinned jelly meat has been used for this purpose.
Ghost or Puriri Moths
These are an interesting part of the ecosystem
|Figure 4. Exit hole ready for a |
Weta to take up residence
|Figure 3. Silk web covering the outlet|
Incidentally poisoning weed trees I feel is a far better way than cutting and clearing them. Leaving them standing gives the under storey of native's time to establish without the competition from annual weeds that thrive in sun light.
|Figure 5 Weta homes available |
from the Enviro Centre
Morepork Nesting Box
|Figure 6. Morepork nest box. |
Note the metal band on the post.
The size of our nest box is 500mm high (top to bottom) and 300mm wide across the front, 270mm front to back with a 120mm diameter hole (figure 6). All inside measurements. Wherever you install it, tree or post, you should try and prevent rats and possums getting up to it. Metal band the tree or post.
Red and Yellow Admiral Butterflies
|Figure 7 . The Red Admiral butter fly|
The Urtica ferox plants are available to purchase from Oratia Native Plants email@example.com
|Figure 8. Copper Skink habitat constructed on a sunny slope|
Australian Rainbow Skink .You should clearly identify a skink before any transfer is done. If in doubt don't transfer it. The ideal is that the Copper Skink population in your habitat just grows naturally.
|Figure 9. Long Tailed Bat. |
Small and at risk of rat attack.
Feedback, information requests or comments welcome:
Complied by Rex Bushell
Coordinator and Trustee
Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust