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Eastbourne Dunes Protection Group
EASTBOURNE DUNES PROTECTION GROUP.
The Group meets on the frst Saturday of each month to work on our project - i.e. weeding and planting. Our first planting was in August 2003. Some of our members have attended regularly since day one. Total membership has varied litle over time, with some dropping out and others joining. A few people do extra work between scheduled events. From 2001 until 2010 we had enormous help from the Global Volunteer Network (GVN), young people from all over the world would come to work on our project once a month.
We welcome enquiries from Corporate volunteer groups. In 2011/2012 we hosted IAG, Aurecon, Bank Of NZ (Closed For Good) and ACC.
Eastbourne Dunes Protection Group (EDPG) was formed originally in 2002 to oppose a planned development which would have encroached on a significant areaof what we regard as the best part of our wild and beautiful beach and dunes.
Pest plants continue to be a major focus for our group. In 2004/5 GVN groups hand-cut and poisoned masses of tree medick, almost eliminating it from all Eastbourne beaches. Several years ago contractors sprayed out most of the marram from our area. Recurring marram seedlings are removed by voluteers using garden forks. We can now say with confidence that tree medick, marram, wild radish, ice plant, onion weed and horned poppy are well under control. Hares' tail and some pasture grasses usually die off during the hottest Summer months. We struggle to control other pasture grasses including couch, long oat, burred clover, buffalo grass, kikuyu, dandelion, oxalis and the ubiquitous alyssum, all escapees from domestic gardens. Climbing and creeping dock is responding to a combination of spraying and removel by hand.. A section of the local population is anti spraying. We weed wherever pest plants are flourishing and to prepare te ground for planting
PLANTS AND PLANTING
Planting is a Winter activity. At the end of this Winter (2017) we will have planted a total of 17287plants. Back dunes are planted with shrubs, flaxes, toetoe, with spinifex and pingao on suitable banks and flat areas. Pingao is more fragile than spinifex and is subject to damage by foot traffic, dogs and children playing. We have resisted erecting fences because of the natural nature of our beach. We encourage people to keep to the tracks and Hutt City Counil has erected signs asking people to respect the fragile plants.
NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY
We are proud of the fact that we now have 26 native species growing on our restoration area. One third of these are naturally occurring, another third are the same species as above but have been planted ; the remaining third are new to our patch whilst still being eco-souced. The diversity of these species is reflected in the following lists :-
Shrubs and trees : coprosma repens, coprosma propinqua, olearia solandri, tauhinu, ake ake, kawa kawa., kowhai, ngaio, nikau and pohutukawa.
Sedges :- pingao, ficinia nodosa.
Grasses:-spinifex, poa sita, beach carex, toetoe, coastal dune tussock.
Plants:- shore bindweed, sea celery, acenia palida, groundsel(native), euphorbia glauca (Nationally endangered but thriving here) muehlenbeckia complexa, axellaris and astonii.
We are a group of friendly intersting people with a wide range of ages. We work for two hours on the first Saturdayof each month, then meet for coffee and muffins and a chat. New volunteers are always welcome.