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Warkworth Area

Little penguins in Timaru
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Caroline Bay in Timaru is home to a colony of kororā (little penguins). Credit: Kimberley Collins.

North Island
About Us

The Warkworth Area branch covers the area between Puhoi and Maungaturoto. Members work together to help restore the environment back to its natural ecological state.

To get involved contact Chair Tim Armitage 021322890 or Secretary Anne Ronaldson on 027 527 7005 email

Forest and Bird Winter Talks

Our popular winter talks are taking place again this year on the 1st Thursday of each month. 

Our first talk on 2nd May is with renowned local botanist Maureen Young. She will be talking on orchids in the area.

On the 6th June our AGM will be followed by a short film on the fascinating manta ray, followed by a Q and A session. This will be presented by Lydia from Manta Watch New Zealand. 

Later in the year:- 4th July, 1st August, 5th September. Speakers to be confirmed closer to the time. 

Talks are followed by a cuppa and a chance to chat with the team.

7.30pm at the RSA (downstairs) in Warkworth.

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Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland

Warkworth Area Branch had a stall at the Birthday Centennial Bash at Shakespear Regional park on 17th February.

This was to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Forest and Bird New Zealand in 1923 and culminated in the cutting of a birthday cake with descendants of Val Sanderson, the founder of the organisation.  

At our stall Sally Richardson gave a talk on the takahe at Tawharanui. 

Local Projects 

Snells Shoreline Conservation Community

Volunteer mornings second Sunday of each month 9-11am at reserve near Bayside Bistro, Snells Beach. For more information email 

Pest Free Warkworth

March 23 report: Progress continues on a few fronts but the main backyard trapping campaign we anticipated for early this year is not yet underway. Peak rat season is pending over the next couple ofP months.

Some outcomes to note:

  • 180 bait stations and bait have been ordered and delivered in the past couple of weeks; a distribution approach is now required (getting under way)
  • Development of the river-based trap line operation for the awa Mahurangi (3km) continues with great hearings and support from Ngati Manuhiri, Council, DOC and The Forest Bridge Trust
  • We have a stock of around 250 trap tunnels and traps on hand ready to roll – around 120 are already stencilled
  • We had a good response to our stand at the A&P show last weekend – aside from the traps distributed from our trailer we gathered leads for over a thousand acres of new territory for the Forest Bridge Trust to pick up.

For more information or to become involved contact 

Little Blue Penguin / Kororā Project 

Little blue penguin on the shore

To protect little blue penguins and other birdlife predator controls continue to target rats, stoats, weasels and possums and many volunteers monitor the traplines. Auckland Council and DoC Community Funding have helped us to achieve this. ITM Matakana have donated timber for penguin nesting boxes and predator trap boxes. Tiny Living ( have also helped build trap boxes.

Increased monitoring of penguins has helped in the 2022-23 season as we try to ascertain penguin numbers and give them further protection from predators. Funding was received from the council RENH fund towards monitoring equipment. Other donations have enabled us to purchase more trail cameras and night vision equipment. Penguin Random House Books recently became a sponsor to help our little blue penguins.

The 2022-23 penguin season was difficult for little blue penguins. The year 2022 is the wettest we have on record and the season included many extremely stormy weather events including Cyclone Gabrielle. Many predator traps and penguin nesting boxes were washed away, buried under slips, fallen trees or damaged. Natural nesting sites were also affected but further monitoring will give us a better idea of numbers of penguins that survived.

If you live locally and would be keen to help with predator controls or penguin monitoring please contact us. We are also interested in any sightings of little blue penguins coming ashore around the local coast.  or check out the Leigh Penguin Project Facebook page

If you'd like to make a donation to the penguins put 'penguins' in your Forest & Bird Warkworth donation. 

Lucy Moore Memorial Park

The river side tongue of the park is now essentially weed free and is in “maintain” mode. The area off Warkworth St is also under action and is gradually emerging from the ivy, tradescantia, morning glory, etc.  The closed section beyond the new Watercare site is still unattended. There is a closed bush walk that runs from the Watercare site up to Alnwick St that is gradually being exposed and possibilities for re-opening will be reviewed with Council. Bamboo is being cleared down near the flying fox.  Springboard who have offered 3-4 volunteers to come and help. Pest control efforts are producing modest results – mainly rats.

Kowhai Park

Most of the park has had its annual check-up and is looking great. The cyclone damage to the stream banks is extensive and part of the new staircase near the old kilns has been undermined. We have been hosting various public walk and school walks in there and a park ranger’s day.  Plantings are planned for the Warkworth School students for the planting season – at the north end of the park.

Control of the tradescantia by the bio-control beetles is now very strong and it’s hard to find any trad not attacked by them.  This bodes well for the whole area.

Trapping continues to produce good results – but the affordability of egg stocks is impacting some trappers so we’re exploring sources and alternatives.

Sesquicentennial Walkway

Sesqui was very severely impacted by the February floods and Cyclone Gabrielle – we lost all our trapping equipment along the riverside.  It has now been reinstalled and chained in place.  The river rose far enough to rip a Flipping Timmy off the side of a tree a good 3.5 metres above the normal water level. Council has replenished all our lost gear and remains a champion of all our requirements.

Not a lot of physical work has been undertaken on the walkway area this season but all standard weeds are being kept in check. The area cleared for replanting this year has been swept clear by the floods – a veritable blank sheet of canvas.

The walkway beyond Pound St is currently closed while the new boardwalks are installed by contractors.

Trapping continues to bring steady results.

Forest & Bird Mothplant Eradication

Mothplant eradication within the greater Leigh/Whangateau area has been successful thanks to the huge response from people in this area. Mothplant is a fast growing vine that can rapidly smother and replace native vegetation, making it a big threat to our native planting schemes. Unfortunately it will continue to come in the hundreds for a few years unless kept under regular surveillance. It is considered by many to be the next big threat to our reserves and off shore islands, because the dandelion like seeds can be spread through wind-sources far and wide.

Forest & Bird Coast Care Group, Leigh

coast care

The Coast Care Group is led by Forest and Bird members is dedicated to pest plant eradication and is strongly supported by DoC and Auckland Council. As Leigh is the closest point on the mainland to Hauturu/Little Barrier Island, the group's objective is to stop the spread of wind borne seeds to the island, and also across the bay to Tawharanui Regional Park.

The group targets moth vine, climbing asparagus, pampas and other invasive weeds on both public and private land on the Leigh coast including an area of bush bordering a stream with eels and other native fish. The group received a Weedbuster award for this project. 

The group meets monthly and is always looking for more volunteers. Communication is via email so if you would like to know more please email 

Mt Tamahunga Trappers

Mount Tamahunga is mostly covered in bush and the majority of the land is owned by Doc. The Tamahunga Trappers group contains many F&B members, who trap stoats and rats. For more details contact Eliane on or check out Facebook and learn more about kiwi being introduced here.

Get involved


Volunteers are always appreciated. If you want to lend a hand, contact Roger Williams on 09 425 9127


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