What was once a wasteland, covered in invasive weeds and exotic swamp cypress, is slowly becoming a gully full of native flora once again.
It took about two years of control to push back weeds such as blackberry and honeysuckle at the gully behind St Mary’s Church, Gordonton.
“Now only ‘normal’ weeds such as dandelion and thistle type weeds have to be kept in check,” said Vicar David Smithson.
Planting native trees has occurred over four years mainly by parishioners, with assistance from a group from Housing New Zealand who want to contribute to community and the environment.
St Mary’s envisage the gully to be restored full with native trees, and a ‘lunch box’ for native birds with plantings including makomako (wineberry) miro, kowhai and flax for tui, and hopefully one day kereru.
“It would be fantastic to see some kaka drop by in years to come.”
However recent sightings of Norway rats, stoats and a ferret does not bode well for native birds, so trapping for these introduced pests is now underway. (And two Norway rats caught in the first week.)
Contributions to the project are welcome – especially cabbage trees and kahikatea – but any natives would be greatly appreciated.