Weed control has become critical at Raroa – the 1ha DOC reserve in Stanmore Bay.
The land is tucked behind private homes and adjacent to Whangaparāoa Playcentre and the Guide Den in Stanmore Bay Road. It was formerly the grounds of the original Whangaparāoa Primary.
Native planting, led by Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird, began in 2003 and continued for around five years, thanks to grants and volunteer labour. Those plantings are establishing well. Trees that are now beyond head height were grown by local Forest and Bird members from cuttings, including kanuka, puriri and kowhai. Ornate skinks, a threatened species, are found there.
DOC felled large macrocarpa, the trunks of which have been left to provide habitat for insects and landing places for birds. Predator control is underway.
More recently, the site has suffered from neglect due to lack of volunteers. A local resident has been mowing the berm and pathway, which Forest and Bird is grateful for, but the bush is becoming snarled with pest plants including Japanese honeysuckle, moth plant, privet and agapanthus.
Hibiscus Coast Forest and Bird chair Pauline Smith says it is now imperative to get on top of the weeds.
She is coordinating a new group of volunteers to help at Rāroa. All materials, such as poison gels, are provided, as well as free training and support.
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