A project to clear Darwin’s barberry (Berberis darwinii), blackberry and other exotic pest plants, abandoned cars, and household rubbish from a neglected reserve and transform it into one that resembles a natural unmodified forest with wetland.
Visitors experience a lush native forest and wetland habitat supporting abundant and diverse native fauna; invertebrate, lizard and native bird life. The biodiversity complements the adjacent Otari–Wilton’s Bush; accessed by a connecting track.
The open aspect of the valley floor contrasts with the dense vegetation of the surrounding forest with its emergent and canopy trees and lush profusion of native plants. Native grass, sedge and rushes enhance the wetland [an artificial bog created during the construction of the Wilton sub-station] and picnic area. The stream is flanked by riparian habitat; its high quality water home to a myriad of freshwater life forms.
Management of weed and pest species incursion ensures the site is substantially free of pest plants and animals. Control of some native species (e.g. karaka, karo) is required to maintain endemic biodiversity. The ecological buffer zone that surrounds the site aids the control of weed and pest within it. The site is in ecological balance, self-sustaining and a seed source. Key indicator species are present and reflect the importance of the bio-diversity aspect of the site to the “Natural Pathways” project
- December 2011 - 2013 concept approved; project plan developed; MoU with Wellington City Council agreed
- 2015 - 2016 site assessment and management plan; in-fill planting of kahikatea and puketea; chew card survey; trapping stations installed; photo point images taken.
- 2017 - 2018 Greenwood Trust funded tools and equipment; phase 1 of darwin's barberry clearance.
What can you do
- take a walk in the reserve [off Chartwell Drive, Crofton Downs]
- contact the project coordinator to volunteer
- consult and bookmark the Weedbuster website; remove invasive exotic plants from your garden and replace with New Zealand natives
- talk to friends and colleagues about pest plants and help us rid Wellington’s open spaces of these garden escapee’s
- join your local predator free group