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Northland - Free pest plant workshops for 2017

Pest plant experts will pass on tips on how to tackle some of the Northland’s worst weeds at free workshops in Paparoa, Whangarei, Kerikeri and Coopers Beach.

This winter will be the seventh year the Northland Regional Council has held the popular three-hour workshops, which its pest plant specialist Sara Brill will host from 24-29 July.

Councillor Joce Yeoman, who represents the council’s Coastal North constituency, says the council typically holds two pest plant workshops a day at each venue based on demand from local communities.

“Demand can vary from year-to-year, so this winter we’ll be visiting Paparoa, Whangarei, Kerikeri and Coopers Beach.”

Councillor Yeoman says every year up to 200 people take advantage of the offer to learn how to better manage both land and freshwater-based weeds; either on their own land, or properties they manage for others.

“If you’ve ever wondered which weed is which, why weeds wander and what we can do about it; come along to one of our informative, fun, and free workshops.”

Sara Brill says the events are a fantastic way to get ‘up close and personal’ with some of Northland’s worst weeds and attendees are often surprised by the fact “not all plants are created equal, and some weeds definitely have a lot to answer for in terms of their impacts on our environment!”.

“The workshops are hands-on, but delivered in a relaxed and fun way to help people learn how best to tackle a wide variety of more than 20 pest plants  including wild ginger, lantana and moth plant as well as highlighting the need to report freshwater weeds like salvinia and water hyacinth.”

Each will include a short presentation, hands-on identification tips and information on control options, including chemicals and other methods.

The first workshop will be in Paparoa at the Paparoa Memorial Hall on Monday 24 July, followed the next day in Kerikeri at the St John Ambulance Hall (357 Kerikeri Rd) before moving to the St John Ambulance Hall (7 St John Rd) at Coopers Beach on Wednesday 26 July.  Thursday 27 July will see workshops in chambers at the regional council’s (Water St) Whangarei head office.

Councillor Yeoman says two separate three-hour workshops will be held at each weekday venue; one from 9am til noon and the other from 1-4pm, but numbers are limited to about 30 people each time so registration is essential.

There will also be a final weekend workshop in Whangarei on the morning of Saturday 29 July (again, from 9am until noon) for those who might not have been able to make any of the earlier weekday events.

Councillor Yeoman says the winter workshops are a great chance for people to plan well ahead and get ready for the busy ‘weed knockdown period’ once the warm spring growth phase starts.

People interested in attending should email Sara Brill – [email protected] – or call her directly on (09) 470 1162 to register and/or learn more about the workshops.

General information on pests – both plant and animal – is available from the council’s new pest control hub via: www.nrc.govt.nz/pestcontrolhub