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News April 2009

Thank you for three successful wilding tree volunteer days
All three days for this autumn over and everyone still in one piece. We had a total of 171 people over the days (about 20 more than last year) and cleared a lot of trees.
Saturday March 14th
40 volunteers cleared a large flat on Flock Hill opposite the flats where we worked last year (on the other side of the road). The afternoon was spent working from the ridge down to the road back towards Helicopter Hill.

Saturday March 28th
This was the largest of the three days with an attendance of 68. The trees here were fairly sparse but were hard work. We finished the lower slopes of Purple Hill overlooking Winding Creek right around to the start of Lake Pearson. At the end of the day some volunteers who had seen what they hadn’t quite finished the fortnight before on the drive up returned to the same spot and spent half an hour finishing the contract. This was a real bonus so thank you.

Saturday April 4th
With the help of the Canterbury Combined 4WD Clubs 63 volunteers were carted in to Corner Creek near the confluence of the Avoca and Harper rivers. Good progress was made but there is a small amount of work left to do which we have nearly organised a voluntary delegation fro ECan to finish.

Progress is being made…
- your efforts have once again bought time and contained the fringe spread of wildings.

- WELRA (The Waimakariri Ecological and Landscape Restoration Alliance) has had some significant success with funding applications to carry out control work on Flock Hill. So far they have grants from the Canterbury Community Trust of $40,000 and the NZ Lottery Grant Board of $96,000. Application to other funds are currently being prepared but this is a fantastic start.

- Around a third of Helicopter Hill has been cleared by contractors paid for by DoC. It is great to see the source areas now being cleared.

- Some of you will have noticed brown strips of wildings around Flock Hill – these are part of a Helicopter spray trail which, if successful, will open the door for spray control on dense stands of trees. Flock Hill, DoC, ECan and LINZ have all put money into these trials.

Your efforts are part of the big picture and things are really starting to move along now with key stakeholders and the major agencies on board, looking to address the problem.

Thank you for helping the cause.

Volunteers at Flock Hill March 2009
Volunteers receive instructions before heading out on the Flock Hill volunteer day, March 2009