Area of bank in divaricating shrubs, opposite entrance to Tokyo walkway.
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Clifton Terrace Restoration Group
Summary: The land was cleared for the motorway, and then planted and invaded by weed species. We are turning it into native podocarp-broadleaf forest, enhancing the native invertebrate communities, and providing habitat for native birds.
Land: Clifton Terrace Restoration Group is primarily restoring areas stripped during motorway construction and then planted in acacia. The land is generally weathered greywacke, very steep, and dry. There is one area of good, slightly swampy soil, and a few natural seeps. Ground cover is mostly tradescantia (wandering willy) and other intractable weeds.
Public use: The Tokyo walkway traverses the site, and is used by commuters, tourists and lunchtime walkers/runners. Part of the land is within Clifton Terrace Model School, and we are doing work to make it usable by pupils.
Flora: None of the plants seem to be original, although some ferns and herbs probably arrived naturally. Most of the past plantings were exotics or non-Wellington natives. We are aiming to build a podocarp-broadleaf forest of generally eco-sourced natives, gradually eradicating pseudopanax hybrids, karo, etc.
Fauna: The motorway construction destroyed most natural values, but we do have some large native earthworms, a population of ground wëtä, and stick insects. The area is used as a feeding area for tui, and kaka are beginning to visit from Karori Sanctuary. It has a resident fantail pair.
Key issues: Weed control is the primary problem, together with the steep nature of the site. NZTA make no contribution to the work, and have not been willing to make acacia removal next to the motorway affordable for the council. We also continue to grapple with council vegetation management activities undoing some of the work done, and the difficulty of finding suitable species to plant next to footpaths and the walkway.