Late last year, we had the pleasure of attending a planting day with the awesome staff from Chelsea Sugar. Chelsea Sugar have sponsored a large pest plant eradication on their land and the bush edge of Huka road - a site that historically has had extremely bad infestations of wide-spreading pest plants. Over 5000m2 is under care which is of great benefit to our environment!
Intensive pest plant control by Te Nghaere was followed by rubbish clean up and native planting by several members of the Chelsea Sugar team. In place of invasives like madeira vine, black-eyed susan, woolly nightshade, elaeagnus, fruit salad plant, and many other kinds of dumped garden plants gone escapee - there is now a native suite of plants to provide stability to the soil, to feed and shelter native wildlife - and a bonus of looking great in a couple of years. The planting is also an attempt to tidy up the area and make it more beautiful, as this roadside has been a continued site for illegal dumping. Many people out there still think it's ok to avoid costs and dump garden waste, which often contains invasives. Doing the right thing isn't actually so expensive, and many pest plants can be broken down safely at home. Hopefully people will think twice now it's more obviously a community site being restored.
The restoration is helping to protect the more inner bush, which is beautiful - full of old kanuka, massive totara and tree ferns - a great habitat for our beloved ruru and tui. We even found an ornate skink on the day while planting! A special place indeed. The planting was hot, well enjoyed and well appreciated by us here at PFK and by the community groups in the area that no longer have to worry about invasive seed spread from this site. The work isn't completely done - a round of control on the dreaded bindweed is required, after which more mulch can be added around the baby natives to help them through the summer. The site will need checking periodically to control the remaining weed seeds that germinate - but in time we can look forward to a fully functioning, healthy bush edge. In all - we are grateful to corporates like Chelsea Sugar who are increasingly looking to care for and protect the environment through pest control and restoration. They are leading the way and providing a good example that there are many ways a business can contribute back to their local community. We can only hope other businesses around Kaipātiki take a look at their premises and check their green spaces for invasives. Great work everyone, we had a great day and look forward to working again in the future soon!
Thanks Chelsea Sugar for your support!