Photo: Anna White

Welcome visitors

Andrew Bayly, Hunua MP and Chester Borrows, Whanganui MP and Deputy Speaker of the House, visited us yesterday. They were interested to view maps of the Peninsula and learn about just how many protected areas of bush there are (more covenants than anywhere else in Franklin). We also explained about how the community had voted - over 10 years ago - to designate Awhitu Peninsula as a ‘possum control area’, and all the efforts from our Pest Control Co-ordinator Pete Shepherd, and Awhitu Landcare volunteers, to continue to achieve this. The sun shone and our magnificent Peninsula was looking its finest, so we are sure our visiting politicians enjoyed their trip. Their comments about our plant nursery and our pest control work being ‘most impressive’ were heartening. Take a look at the results Nursery Manager Sigrid Sharplin and her fabulous volunteers have been achieving in recent months - wow.  Equally as impressive (but not nearly so attractive!) are the dead mustelids…. THANK YOU Pete Shepherd and your pest control helpers, for all your tireless hard work tramping those endless steep hills and rough gullies….

Meet new friends

Our community plant nursery at Matakawau hasn’t missed a beat over summer, with a wonderful number of volunteers helping out – thank you people! Lending a hand in the nursery is a great way to socialise and meet new friends. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning (9.30 to 12.30) we welcome anyone able to donate a few hours of their time. If you are unfamiliar about what happens in a nursery, don’t worry, we’re on hand to help - there are jobs to suit every capability. We’re a friendly lot and we’d love to see you there one day. Sowing a tray of seed and watching it grow into hundreds of healthy young plants, ready to grace the Awhitu environment, is a truly rewarding pastime.


Kind Wishes for 2017

Kind wishes to all for health and happiness throughout 2017. Hopefully, despite the annoyingly non-summer weather NZ has been experiencing, you found a sheltered spot over the holidays in which to relax and relish our magnificent environment. Aren’t we lucky in this country to be able to take for granted our fresh water, fresh air, green open spaces – in short, to live in such a healthy place – a blessing becoming increasingly rare in today’s world. We are looking forward to another busy year, working to improve our environment even further. Big shout out to all our community of volunteers, who give so much of their time towards this cause. 


End of Year thank you - especially to some

Today we had the opportunity to thank some of our many volunteers with an end of year lunch - the chance to relax and socialise, rather than yelling across a windswept valley with spades or thistle grubbers in our hands! It was also the time to pay a special tribute to some very important volunteers who are stepping back from their roles within Landcare. The Awhitu environment owes much to the dedicated work of Anna and Ian McNaughton, and Adam Scattergood. The small gifts presented to them, and recalling their many achievements, does not begin to express our heartfelt thanks. We are also losing (to the South Island) our lovely Kate Fegan who has manned the Landcare centre in the community so well over the past 10 years. Times of change indeed. Warm wishes to all our volunteers as we near the end of the year - we hope you are able to have a restful break over Christmas and we look forward to working with you again on projects enhancing the Awhitu environment in 2017. 

Kauri Dieback Day a great success

Thanks to everyone who attended our Kauri Dieback day yesterday, especially to Nick and Lee from the Kauri Dieback Management team, to property owner Colin, and QEII Trust’s Lynette. We learnt much and enjoyed each other’s company in the beautiful sunshine, viewing the healthy Hereford cattle herd, and listening to birdsong amongst the trees. So sad, though, to view the many affected Kauri in the otherwise healthy, fenced off, native bush on the farm. Although this dreaded disease does not get much media exposure these days, be aware it is a rampant killer of our most iconic trees (of all ages) and needs all the attention we can give it if we wish Kiwis to see Kauri in decades to come. Big ups to Nick and Lee who are working so tirelessly to try and find a prevention / cure. The disease spreads by soil movement, and can be detected by globs of gum at the base of the trunks, often developing into collars of gum encircling the lower trunk, yellowing leaves, thinning canopy, dead branches, and sudden death. The most important preventative measures each of us can take (and please do) is to ensure shoes, tyres and equipment are free of dirt before and after visiting Kauri, and keeping yourself and your dog to defined park tracks at all times. If you think you have found an infected tree, contact 0800 NZ KAURI for advice. We have some information packs at our Resource Centre at Matakawau – please call in and collect one if you have Kauri on your property that you want to keep healthy and growing for future generations.  


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