One Stream Connects Many Neighbours

A blog about the passion to restore a native environment and the successes and challenges so far.

This is a great story of hard work, commitment, determination and the flow-on effects to others as positive results begin to take hold.

How the stream restoration project got started.

It didn’t happen overnight. It's been three years since Alicia and Chris began restoring the stream that backs onto their property in Beach Haven. For decades, the neglected stream was being overtaken by pest plants, eroded by increased volumes of stormwater from the neighbourhood, and the next generation of native seedlings were unable to germinate to replace the forest. The forest is well worth protecting as it is a rare remnant of Pohutukawa, puriri, broadleaved forest - otherwise known as Coastal Broadleaved Forest. This is increasingly rare to find in urban environments and can host a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Alicia and Chris moved into the area in 2017 and began by slowly clearing away large overgrown pest plants including ginger and blue spur flowers along the streambank. Their neighbour Phil, a landscaper, joined the effort, constructing steps and pathways and helping to stabilise the stream banks. Together, the three of them replaced the weeds with native plants and trees, and Alicia and Chris set up predator control to welcome native wildlife into the area.

The project raised local awareness about the state of the stream, the length of which runs through the back of many people’s properties in Beach Haven. Chris and Alicia’s next-door neighbours Pam and Roy noticed the improvements next to them, as well as increased bird life around them, and decided to join the project. In December last year, Roy cleared all the Tradescantia that had taken over their section of the stream. He formed a new stream-side path, which was then connected up with Chris and Alicia’s path – a practical and symbolic action that signalled the community spirit that was unfolding. Together, the neighbours began regenerating this next section of stream and forest.

Amazing restoration work on the stream.