Efforts to improve the Piroa/Brynderwyn (Mangawhai/Waipū) High Value Area (HVA) had help from an unexpected quarter last week – the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare is a collective of more than 30 community-led conservation projects aiming to restore biodiversity in the Brynderwyn ranges and environs. It works across an area spanning more than 22,374 hectares, which is home to three threatened and 11 regionally significant plant species, as well as 10 threatened and five regionally significant fauna.
On May 2, a team of about 25 Air Force staff arrived in Mangawhai to join Wairahi Tracks Charitable Trust and Mangawhai Trackies volunteers. The work focused on ‘cutting in’ a new section of walking trail that will potentially be incorporated into the Te Araroa Trail and installing a bait station network in the adjoining Department of Conservation reserve.
Northland Regional Councillor Rick Stolwerk says the track cutting work will open an important alternative track to the public, moving walkers off the public roadside to enjoy the natural landscape and seascape of the area by travelling via a connected network of tracks.
“It’s great to see the long-standing volunteers getting a boost and some muscle power in the form of support from the Air Force,” Stolwerk says. “The project was expected to take months to complete, but with the help of the Air Force, it was completed in just five days.
“The Air Force’s work will also add tremendous value to the community’s efforts to secure safe corridors for kiwi to disperse and other rare and unique species present in the Piroa-Brynderwyn hills including Hochstetter frogs and long tailed bats.”