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Forest & Bird Society Hastings-Havelock North Branch
The Branch is active in a several areas in the wider Hastings area with activities covering pest control, reforestation, a native plant nursery, events for young people (KCC) and a monthly field trip for members in association with the Napier branch of Forest & Bird.
Blowhard Bush Reserve
This Reserve was gifted to Forest & Bird in 1960 by the Lowry family. The 63 hectare reserve is home to a large number of native species.
The Hastings-Havelock North Branch of Forest & Bird has been replanting and eradicating introduced pests including possums, rats, stoats, weasels and hedgehogs with monthly working bees. The goal is to return the reserve to its original state and we are now seeing the bush regenerating and the population of native birds growing.
The bush has walks that range from 30 minutes through to 2.5 hours with unique limestone formations, a view of the Kawekas, mature and regenerating bush as well as bird song to experience.
The Branch has worked with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to restore the banks of the Poukawa Stream which drains the wetlands that form the Pekapeka Regional Park.
Our vision was to have the stream in a fit state to support aquatic and terrestrial life thus enabling birds to travel across our region from the Kawekas to the coast. To achieve this we have planted native plants and cared for them over the last four years.
It is hoped that in the future there will be walkways enabling people to access this section of the Park and our section of the stream will provide good aesthetics for people using such walkways. The Branch has now completed its role in this project.
Pukahu Project The vision with the Pukahu Project is also to have the Karamu stream in a fit state to support aquatic and terrestrial life thus enabling birds to travel across our region from the Kaweka Ranges to the coast.
Our 7ha section of the stream is located at the confluence of the Awanui and Irongate Streams which is the origin of the Karamu in an area near Havelock North known as Pukahu. The area is large enough to be a “core sanctuary” for the Te Karamu Strategy. This strategy contributes to the Biodiversity Strategy that our branch has signed up to with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. The area will also provide good aesthetics to people who use the park when it is eventually opened to the public for recreational purposes.
To achieve our vision, we will be planting native plants and caring for them. In the first year following planting the area planted will require monthly weeding and/or watering to ensure the plants are well established. In subsequent years new areas will be planted and care for the previously planted areas will be handed over to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
Kiwi Conservation Club (KCC)
An active group of young people 5 to 12 years of age take part in regular KCC activities organised by the Branch KCC Coordinator.