Issue 14 October 2009
Waihi Walkways produces two newsletters per year, in April and October. Here is the news from over the winter months.
We have been busy again this winter, adding appropriate vegetation and trees to the walkway routes. Even through the winter months we enjoy our working bees, and the job satisfaction is immense.
GOLDFIELDS SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS ENJOY THE WETLAND
Last year we started planting our wetland on Mill Stream Walkway, and after a busy summer with weed control, we were able to complete the planting this season.
Goldfields senior students, staff members and Waihi Walkways volunteers all got their gumboots wet and muddy during a very enjoyable morning’s work.
After a short blessing, the team carefully planted Harakeke (Phormium tenax) and Wharariki (Phormium cookianum). We look forward to hosting the Goldfields students for future occasions as their "education for sustainability" initiatives continue.
VICTORIA BRIDGE RESERVE
After sterling effort at this reserve, with pest weeds reduced, obstacles were removed from the flat to enable the mowing to begin. This lovely area has views of the river and may become a picnic area. It is the downstream exit for the Silverton Walkway, which we are currently planning.
We mulched the bank (with help from Dept of Corrections). An enthusiastic group of Waihi Walkways volunteers started the enhancement of the area with 90 trees on a fine frosty morning. Honda Tree Fund assisted with funding for these plants.
Over the coming summer, weed control will continue, and a new group of plants will be established next season, complementing this excellent beginning.
No flooding has occurred at Mill Stream since the rehabilitation of 2007. However this year we had occasion to hire the services of Short Back n Sides when a large branch on one of the old pine trees was "hung" over the track.
After scaling the heights, Brett Souter removed the branch and safely lowered it to the ground and removed the debris.
Later in the season a large wattle dropped over the walkway during a high wind and this time our volunteers were able to clear the track, equally professionally and judiciously.
FURTHER WORK AT MILL STREAM WALKWAY
In August we had the pleasure of hosting and working with Andrew Baucke, Tauranga Manager of the Department of Conservation.
An area, particularly dense with privet, was chosen for a working bee, and Andrew and wife Rachael mucked in with our volunteers to cut, paste and chip the "privet patch". We have subsequently finished clearing the area of unwanted vegetation and re-planted a range of hardy native plants.
Thanks to BOC Gases, Where There’s Water Community Fund in assisting with the trees and flaxes for these projects. Environmental rehabilitation of Mill Stream (also known as Eastern Stream) will be ongoing.
RIVERBANK TERRACE UPGRADE
We have been planning the upgrade of this delightful "rural" walk for some time. In consultation and collaboration with Hauraki District Council, we have recently benched the track and are re-grassing it thus improving the walking surface.
Paul Jarvie executed the digger work, and volunteers have provided the necessary effort including levelling, raking, and sowing grass seed.
Once again, our volunteers pitched in with a grand job. Thank you.
Riverbank Terrace Walkway is accessible from Gilmour Reserve, near the dove sculpture. Proceed toward the Ohinemuri River, under Coronation Bridge, and you will find yourself on a delightful short walk with lovely specimen trees and unimpeded views of the river. Sheep are present as a maintenance strategy, so please ensure any dog is on a leash, and that you close the gates.
Additional specimen trees will be established along the walkway over the next few years. They will maintain the ambience and enhance the autumn display.
A kind donation of kowhai trees from Alan Groat this year has enabled us to increase the lovely golden colour of kowhai throughout Waihi. Alan (a "golden oldie" himself) says "as there is no more heart of gold left in the land – I thought we could have some golden flowers around the town".
He has provided a total of 60 kowhai seedlings for this year’s plantings, and there will be more for next year – all from his own back yard. Thank you Alan.
Would you like to plant a tree, and help the birds? Give us a call and we can give you one of Alan’s kowhai seedlings.
FIRST AID COURSES
Waihi Walkways is serious about health and safety matters, for our volunteers and for the public who walk the tracks. We always have a first aid kit on site when we work, and some of us have First Aid training. Training needs to be refreshed every two years, and this year Dennis and Carol Speir have undertaken the two day course to become qualified. Congratulations Carol and Dennis.
Welcome to our new members. It is always a pleasure to welcome new people to our organisation. Increasing community support and appreciation of the walking routes is gratifying.
PREDATOR CONTROL – UNION HILL
Again this year Waihi Walkways members are contributing to the effort to reduce predator numbers on Union Hill and so increase the chances for the small native birds to breed successfully. We have resumed the rodent control via the bait stations located around parts of the hill. In particular, rats threaten food source for birds and insects, and they climb into nests, eating eggs and adult birds!
Possums also debilitate the habitat and directly threaten nesting birds, their eggs and youngsters.
Tracking tunnels, to determine the nocturnal life on the forest floor, are used at the beginning and end of a baiting effort. Previous years have shown a decrease in rodents and an increase in invertebrate life.
How do you feel about giving our small birds a better chance when breeding? Give us a ring to join the predator-control team.
FLOWERS OF THE BUSH - TREE FUCHSIA
This is our only truly deciduous tree, and can grow up to 12m. The flowers (August to December) are rich in nectar, and favoured by bellbird (Makomako), Tui, silvereye (Tauhou). The berries are edible and taste like tamarillos. Sadly possums consider it a tasty treat and have impacted severely on its presence in the bush. The most stunning feature is its orange/red loose bark, which peels off or hangs from the branches.
We have planted several fuchsia, and look forward to their display.
THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS
Working bees and volunteering projects are scheduled throughout the year. Contact us to learn how you can contribute.
Chairperson: Carol Speir, Ph: 863 3279
Coordinator: Ruth Ordish, Ph: 863 8600
Address for correspondence: Waihi Walkways PO Box 241 Waihi
Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand
Send e- mail to: Waihi Walkways