by Helen Martin
South Kaipara Landcare is an enthusiastic group formed in 2001 by locals wanting to protect and improve the quality of the environment on the South Head peninsula. In her annual report, SKL Chair Tracy Tristram noted that despite a record-breaking drought and Covid-19 putting a dampener on planting days and the annual bird count, the SKL team has achieved much in the past year.
Activities included weeding (and as a result native vegetation is already growing in place of woolly nightshade and other pests), expanding SKL’s wonderful nursery, run by Elon Bycroft and staffed by volunteers, to make room for manuka trials undertaken with Ngâ MaungaWhakahii, installing bittern signs along South Head road (with other groups from around the country seeking advice on this) and a clean-up day with a focus on recycling the roadside rubbish collected.
Night walks at Te Rau Puriri Regional Park and the Bird Atlas workshop were excellent community events and SKL provided input into other projects, such as the Te Rau Puriri concept plan and Auckland Council’s efforts to manage pest fish at Lake Rototoa. Tracy Tristram and Ed Donald spoke to community groups South Kaipara Residents and Ratepayers and U3A about the work done by SKL.
Lake Rototoa continued to be a focus point for pest control. With a roster now in place traps are checked regularly, with good results. Support and advice from the Forest Bridge Trust continues to ensure the success of this project.
The pest control working group is also having a lot of success and there is now a range of productive trap lines across the peninsula, along with many individuals trapping on their own properties.
In closing, Tracy thanked SKL’s invaluable supporters, including Auckland Council and DoC for their ongoing willingness to support SKL’s work; Burmester Real Estate for printing flyers, and the rural delivery team for delivering them free of charge; Elon and his team of nursery volunteers; Phil Evans and the team at Te Rau Puriri; Placemakers for their ongoing support for all number of small projects.
Helen Frampton, who is stepping down as treasurer this year, was acknowledged for her good work managing the accounts. Tracy also thanked the small SKL committee and the awesome South Head community. “Together we continue to achieve huge amounts of benefit for the wonderful South Head environment that we live in.”
She adds it is worth noting that Judy Bendall has retired as a nursery volunteer. Judy’s husband Frank was one of the original Landcare committee members and Judy has been supporting the group since it began in 2001. “She will be missed at the nursery and we thank her hugely for all her support and efforts,” says Tracy.