The Lower Hutt Branch continues an active conservation history in the Hutt Valley and environs, including Pauatahanui wetland, Manor Park Restoration area, Waiu wetland, and others.
The Branch meets every first Thursday each month (except January) at 7:30pm at the Hutt Valley Tramping Club, Birch Street, Waterloo.
Beginning in 1981, the Lower Hutt Branch initiated a grand task to revegetate Matiu/Somes with a native cloak. Around 130,000 natives were propogated in three nurseries on the Island, and planted. So successful was the project the Island has been designated a Scientific Reserve. New spieces have been re-introduced, including tuatara, kakariki, toutouwai (NI robbin), giant weta, skinks and geckos.
New opportunities to grow podocarp forests on a flat valley floor is rare but that is what we can do. The Manor Park Restoration and the Waiu wetland are two projects we have pioneered.
Manor Park Restoration
The Manor Park Restoration project is on vacant land at the north end of Manor Park Golf Course, south of the rail bridge over the Hutt River, and includes KiwiRail land between the road and rail bridges. Large patches of weeds have been removed and major plantings implimented. There is a potential to create a mini wetland on the site.
Waiu wetland would have been cloaked in podocarps, but was drained for dairy farming. By removing drains, eradicating weeds and planting native species, a significant wetland is a real prospect.