Growing in lockdown in Auckland

26th November 2021

The Auckland lockdown, which came unexpectedly, put a hold on many A Rocha activities in the region. Both the Oakley Creek and Unsworth Reserve restoration work are on council land and volunteering on council land is prohibited under Level 3 by Auckland Council. Sarah Woodfield reports that Friends of Oakley Creek have instead supplied some plants to private landowners who border the Creek to enable them to do some plantings on their own land.

Over in North Shore, Nicholas Mayne shares with us how he has been keeping busy in the community nursery in his backyard:

“For my part I have been busy cleaning up the nursery, potting hundreds of manuka and harakeke, and making compost for future potting mixes. A Rocha and the work at Unsworth Reserve is part of Upper Waitemata Ecology Network. A Rocha is a founding member of this network, and I the first convenor. The Network submitted two nominations for the 2021 Mayor’s Conservation Awards, one of which is the Community Nurseries Niche of the Network under the innovation award category. The application boasts of a number of innovations deployed by our nurseries – the A Rocha nursery uses composted tradescantia for potting mix and reused playground softfall mats for plant hygiene. The application also talks about the process we are going through to develop greater collaboration between our local nurseries – including training a new type of volunteer to collect bio-diverse eco-sourced seeds to distribute to all local nurseries in the network. This process was developed by Jan Diprose and myself.”

We are delighted to congratulate Nicholas Mayne and Jan Diprose for their work at the Community Nurseries Project which was a finalist in the Innovation category for the Auckland Mayoral Conservation Awards 2021!

You may remember the floods that hit West Auckland in late August that caused extensive damage to properties and infrastructure. In Matuku Link, the wetland did what a wetland is supposed to do: it slowed the water right down, caught the sediment, the sedges held most of the banks in their place, larger trees acted as a sieve for debris. Matuku Link reports that there were large clean-ups to do after the floods, including clearing lots of waste and debris from somewhere upstream and uprighting plants.

These two pictures were taken from the same spot!

Since then, some low-key activities have continued as Matuku Link is on private land. John Staniland reports recently, “For 2 weeks I have been heavily involved in physically supporting a fencing company who just yesterday completed a long magnificently strong goat-proof fence on the western boundary of the adjacent Matuku Reserve. I am tired, but buoyed by its completion as we have wanted this for well over 10 years! Thanks to Auckland Council for funding it.”

The A Rocha local group in Auckland was able to carry out a small planting event at Matuku Link recently while following strict COVID-19 regulations. They planted “sedges around the edges” of a pond.

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