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News Update May 2010

Autumn 2010 has seen one of the most successful rounds of volunteer days to date.

This year more than 200 volunteers, organised by Environment Canterbury’s resource care team, carried out wilding conifer control efforts over nearly 950 hectares of Canterbury’s high country.

The response of volunteers is heartening. To have so many enthusiastic veterans of these days return for another round is inspirational and to field so many phone calls and emails from people new to the effort but keen to be involved is a good sign for the future.

Constitution – Flock Hill – Saturday March 20th
This was one of the largest days we have run to date, with over 120 volunteers taking part. The Canterbury Combined 4WD clubs provided transport. Everybody split into two groups at the start of the day and between the two sites we worked on we covered approximately 580 hectares. A fantastic effort and while we will no doubt be back there in a few years, this is another vital victory in keeping the front of wilding spread as close to the seed source as possible.

Since this effort, a team with chainsaws has returned to remove the high altitude, scattered trees and finish the area between where the two volunteer groups had been operating.

Broad Stream – Saturday April 10th
Around 40 volunteers went to Cora Lynn and covered around 75 hectares. This was another successful outing which has helped protect habitat unique to Broad Stream.

Corner Creek - Saturday April 10th
The same day that 40 keen volunteers headed to Cora Lynn, a similar number left for Corner Creek, near the confluence of the Harper and Avoca Rivers. The Canterbury Combined 4WD Clubs provided transport to this site. These 290 hectares had been cleared several times by volunteers in the last decade. This year another covering over the entire site has hopefully been enough to ensure that we don’t need to return there. A job well done by everyone who has worked in the Corner Creek area.

To all those who worked so hard against wildings this year, thank you for your dedication.

Thank you to the following clubs and organisations who took part:
Rangiora Tramping club, Peninsula Tramping Club, Canterbury University Tramping Club, Pegasus trampers, The DoC High Country Fire Team, Christchurch Tramping Club, Over 40’s Tramping Club, PBPower and the Canterbury Combined 4WD Clubs

Since April there has been some enthusiasm from people wanting to put small groups together to attack wildings in other areas. If this is something that interests you or a club, please contact David Hewson (david.hewson@ecan.govt.nz) or James Hoban (james.hoban@ecan.govt.nz) at Environment Canterbury (phone (03) 365 3828). We can point you to high priority sites so that you spend your effort as effectively as possible and we can also help with tools depending on the location of work and the size of your group.