TOSSI – Winter around the corner

Before I get started on an update, I thought it would be good to clarify who “TOSSI” is.

The Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society (TOSSI) was formed in 2002 to help make the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary project a reality. TOSSI works in partnership with the Auckland Council and is involved in volunteer programmes, fundraising, education and advocacy. We are a community-based organisation with charitable status.

TOSSI projects include forest and wetland restoration, re-introduction of threatened species, monitoring animals and plants, pest control, our nursery, and the development of walking tracks.

Last time I wrote, summer was nearly upon us and now we are well into autumn and winter is just around the corner. That’s not a negative view, it’s just the way the seasons progress and with it our activities change. The show goes on – just with coats on. So what does winter mean to us? The level of activity does not really decrease, it just takes a different course. For the rangers, it means a change from being parking attendants for the vast number of beachgoers, to getting on with jobs they probably prefer. For the general public, the beach may not be so appealing. So those who still need a regular dose of Tāwharanui will move to exploring the bush and all the treasures hidden there. For the livestock, there are shorter days without the heat and the ewes get to fatten up nicely – especially those who met up with a ram earlier in the year! For TOSSI, it’s time to get the plants grown over summer into the ground. Planting is our major winter activity. We have three public planting days, plus additional volunteer planting days. The public planting days are scheduled for the first Sunday in June, July and August. We welcome all – young and old, families, groups of friends, work colleagues, or individuals who want a great day out with a chance to meet some like-minded people. It’s a great day, albeit hard work sometimes. We even provide workers with lunch to finish off. Put it in your diary now, we look forward to seeing you there.

The additional volunteer plantings usually coincide with the Tuesday morning nursery group. The team will do some more specific infill or special project planting. Anyone with time to spare is welcome to join us.

While the ground is wet, we need to get our 20,000 plants in the ground but that doesn’t mean other activity ceases. The bird and reptile monitoring continues, traplines still need to be serviced, fence monitoring continues, track and fence maintenance becomes even more important, and the weeds still need controlling. It just becomes muddier and slipperier, causing many a muddy bottom. Best of all, winter means spring is just around the corner.

Roger Grove, Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society