Calder Green Reserve

Calder Green Reserve

One of our planting days © Zuni Steer

One of our planting days © Zuni Steer

Calder Green Reserve (formerly known as Devil's Elbow) is a small triangular -shaped saltmarsh on the lower Heathcote/Opawaho river which was gifted to Forest and Bird by Mrs H.G. Green in the 1970s. Bernie Calder, a former Chair of the North Canterbury branch, is also honoured in the name because of the role he played in its aquisition.

Today our aim is to maintain an 'open sanctuary' for the protection and enhancement of the indigenous flora and fauna of the area. We monitor, post quake,  and protect the saltmarsh itself. We have a restoration planting zone alongside the river which is intended to improve the habitat for wildlife, in particular birds and lizards. We do bird surveys four times per year. Another project is our removal of the plant commonly known as sea lavendar from the lower Heathcote which was located in the area in the 1980s by CCC ranger Andrew Crossland, and is a threat to the native biodivesity.

Volunteers are needed for all these activities as well as to help us with watering, weeding and general maintenance of the restoration zone.

Forest and Bird is also now part of a larger effort by the wider community to work to clean up and restore the conservation and aesthetic values of the whole Heathcote/Opawaho river. One of the activities we do in association with many other community groups is the annual autumn rubbish cleanup.

Bird surveys

These continue to be held every 3 months and are collated and reported on EBird. We do need more helpers as we are beginning mid-tide surveys from May. If you are willing to assist with these surveys please email to go on the survey team. You do not have to be skilled at bird identification as support is given to beginners. A pair of binoculars does help though!

We meet at the carpark at the Ferrymead end of the track in to the reserve.

Sea Lavender Project

Despite our efforts over the past two years which have resulted in significantly reduced numbers of sea lavender plants in the original areas this pest plant has invaded some other patches on the lower Heathcote. We need to be continually vigilant and weed it out when it is spotted. We have some people willing to do this work but they could do with helpers.

If you enjoy getting out onto the riverside and the river islands and don't mind a bit of light weeding you could be just the kind of person needed for this job. Please email to be referred to the project leader.

Further Information

For more information or to be added onto the mailing list, please contact Mick Ingram, 384 8080 or 021 816633

For information on upcoming working bees, public talks and field trips, check out our events page.

Access to the reserve is along the track starting at the carpark near the entrance to the Ferrymead Golf Club.