Restoration Projects in the Hutt Valley

Lower Hutt F&B removes weeds and grows eco-sourced plants and revegetates selected public areas. Members of the public are welcomed to take part in these restoration projects. Volunteers are a valuable resource and are keenly sought.  Work parties usually meet about once a month and work for about 3 hours. Volunteering is informal and flexible. Turn up to whichever work party suit you and stay for however long you wish.

Eco Corridor at Silverstream

 Eco corridor at Silverstream. Photo covers eco corridor developments at Manor Park, Kiwi Rail and Hulls Creek and Hulls Creek extension.

Manor Park

The Manor Park restoration project was initiated by Old Blue recipient Russell Bell.  Lower Hutt Branch is working to establish an eco corridor across the Hutt Valley at Silverstream (See Eco corridors) We have permission to remove weeds and plant on the northern end of the Manor Park Golf Course, KiwiRail land, and some riverside land administered by Greater Wellington.

Aerial view of restoration area showing bait lines

Removal of weeds (mainly blackberry, gorse, grass, etc) is the the biggest job. In the beginning it was simply cutting and pasting the blackberry and gorse with a herbicide paste, being careful to protect natives including significant numbers of young karamu and mahoe which thrive once the surrounding weeds are removed.  Later, the Hutt City Council sponsored a super sized mulcher to demolish large areas of blackberry.

Many varieties of natives have been planted, including kanuka, manuka, kanuka, hoheria, flax, kahikatea, rata, kowhai, totara, kohuhu, mahoe, etc.  The recent wet summer produced dramatic grass growth, smothering smaller natives, needing much releasing work.
 
A new thrust at the Park has been the introduction of intensive pest control. because of the large amount of grass present, there is a healthy mouse population that exploit the annual production of grass seed in the Autumn. Also we know that there are about 10 rats per hectare in a place like Manor Park, giving about thirty rats present at any time. Bait stations have been placed on a grid roughly 20 metres by 20 metres using Brodifacoum, and this seems to be working well. Progress can be measured using tracking tunnels. The Lower Hutt Branch purchased bait and traps from the Greater Wellington Regional Council and received good support from the Lower Hutt City Council.  With appropriate pest control of rats and mustelids, there is a desire to re-introduce skinks back to the area.

The small triangle of KiwiRail land between the road and rail bridges at the River Road/Fergusson Drive intersection is covered in introduced grasses. KiwiRail does not want tall plants in the area, so we have planted many flaxes and some nettles.  The latter are hoped to attract the red admiral butterfly.

There's much work to be done.  We meet regularly Tuesday mornings from 9:30am, with a break around 11am for morning tea.

To be involved, contact Margaret Anderson (04) 577 0558 or bandy25@clear.net.nz

Hulls Creek extention

This is a small piece of land between the Eastern Hutt Road and the river at Hulls Creek. We are planting this in conjunction with Upper Hutt Forest and Bird and GWRC.
 

  Waiu Wetland Reserve

Waiu Wetland

Waiu Wetland

To be involved , contact Gary James 021-2866282 or mistletoe@paradise.net.nz

Waiu wetland reserve is at the end of Waiu Street in Wainuiomata. It has an easy circular walk around the wetland but be a bit carefull, mountain bikes use the area.

The hydrology of the wetland has been restored. A pond has been created in the lower part of the valley. Planting has taken place and more will happen but weeds - willows, hawthorns hollies, himalayan honeysuckle, japanese honeysuckle, blackberry, wattle, gorse, and cherry need to be removed. 350 kahikatea have been planted.

Mohaka Wetland

Pictorial shot of Mohaka Wetland

Mohaka wetland is almost a sister to Waiu in an adjacent valley. It is in far better condition that Waiu but will need to be monitored for weeds and weeded from time to time. Apart from that there is little to do because the wetland is in such a good condition.

Baring Head

Baring Head

Baring Head will become a project at some time in the future. It is so big and complex and there are many different views about its future. We are committed to having all of it restored to its highest ecological potential but that will involve difficult choices involving transitions that may take many years. We believe that the best course of action is to participate in the development of a management plan for the area. This will be drawn up over the next few months by Greater Wellington.