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MPS Conservation November 2011 Update


Hi and welcome to the first of a hopefully improving irregular newsletter about the conservation side of things at Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park. First things first, you are receiving this email either because you gave us your email to receive updates about conservation activities at Makara Peak, or you’ve been added to the list because you may be interested in hearing about what’s going on. If you wish for your name to be removed, just reply to this email with “remove conservation email list” so I know what to look out for.
Winter Planting

This winter saw over 700 trees and flaxes put in the ground and our largest turnout was 19 volunteers in one day. Thanks to everyone who helped out in organising and planting. My estimates are that over 32,000 natives so far have been planted in the park (a conservative guess), which means we’ve fallen a little behind on our 1 tree for every meter of track. It’s been a busy couple of years of track building however so we should catch up over the next couple of winters. Plants are being ordered for next year now and we’re looking forward to some big turn outs again next year.

Pest Control
Our stoat control network has been extended by an additional 17 traps thanks to a donation from Dave Rudge (who is also maintaining the new trap line). Trap statistics for the last year (1 July 2010 - 30 June 2011) are: 29 stoats, 1 weasel, 18 rats, 9 hedgehogs.

The possum control volunteers have also been out and about maintaining their lines. It’s about now that young possums, especially young males, migrate into new territory. As there is no possum control out past our eastern boundary, there’s usually a steady stream of new arrivals wandering into the park which are hopefully successfully controlled by our volunteers. 

Lastly, plant weeds are also going to get a hit over the next couple of months care of WCC. Will update in the next newsletter how that’s all gone.


Wednesday Evening Spring Releasing
All the trees that have been planted take a while to establish and will often struggle against grass and weed growth which takes off during spring. Therefore every year during spring we have Wednesday evening releasing sessions (weeding). Gloves and any tools needed are provided plus drink and biscuits. The first releasing is this Wednesday (9th November), see below for details:

Wednesday 9th November: Trickle Falls Valley. Meet at the end of Trickle Falls/Vertigo. A short walk in from Allington Rd where the two tracks exit the park. From 6pm, food, drink and gloves provided. Contact: Simon 021 075 3051              
Wednesday 16th November: Cnr South Karori Rd/Hazelwood Ave. Meet just down from the main car park towards the overflow car park on the corner of South Karori Rd and Hazelwood Ave. From 6pm, food, drink and gloves provided. Contact: Jamie 027 286 8255
Wednesday 30th November: Karori Stream. Meet at the main car park or keep an eye out around the car park tracks. All else fails just yell. From 6pm, food, drink and gloves provided. Contact: Karl 021 264 4085
Wednesday 14th December: Zac’s/Aratihi. Head along Zac’s towards Aratihi and you’ll stumble upon people. There will probably be signs out so follow them from the summit if all else fails. From 6pm, food, drink and gloves provided. Contact: Andrew

Forest & Bird Green Wellington Makara Peak Walk
F&B have been providing plants for Makara Peak from their local nursery for many years now and after a presentation on the park at one of their meetings, F&B’s Green Wellington group are keen to have a look around. The walk is open to everyone (F&B members and non-members), and their walks in the past have been very successful. Below are details from F&B:

Forest & Bird’s Green Wellington group members invite you to join us for a guided walk over Makara Peak on Sunday 27th November 2011, starting at 1.30pm.
Although Makara Peak has been developed as a mountain biking area, most tracks are dual use (walking and biking). However, bikers do have priority, so we will avoid the steeper and narrower tracks. We will look at past and current restoration areas as well as gaining an insight into the intricacies of track-building and restoration on steep land. There are superb views (weather permitting) from the top. It’s mainly easy walking, with one or two steeper sections. Unless there’s been recent rain, the tracks shouldn’t be muddy, but good walking shoes or boots would be advisable.
If, as a walker, you’ve tended to regard mountain-bikers with some suspicion, this could change your view: come and see what a wonderful job these guys have done in revegetating what was steep pasture just a few years ago.
All welcome (you don’t have to be a member of Forest & Bird). Meet at 1.30pm at the main car park in South Karori Road (about 1km south of the no. 3 bus terminus at the junction of Karori Road and South Karori Road). Look for the F&B flag.
Further information: e-mail [email protected] or ring Ken on (04) 384 7298. Also, if the weather is bad on the day ring this number for cancellation information.
Don’t forget this week’s Wednesday Evening Plant Releasing at Trickle Falls Valley. Also please come and join the F&B walk. Any regular volunteers who can offer their stories to the walkers are encouraged to come along as this will make for a richer experience.
Makara Peak Conservation