The Upper Hutt branch works to protect areas of regenerating native forest, our precious Hutt River and other waterways in the region.
We are also restoring areas to their natural state by planting natives and with pest control programmes.
Monthly branch meetings are held with entertaining and enlightening speakers, every 4th Tuesday of month at Hapai Rooms, Fergusson Drive (Just north of Police Station).
The branch’s main project is restoring the health of Hull’s Creek at Silverstream by planting native plants along its banks.
The main planting site this year is near Field Street in Silverstream.
Mawaihakona Stream has also had some recent planting; the entrance to Trentham park is now looking much greener.
We welcome people to join us on our monthly working bees. Contact Sue Millar: 526 7440
Upper Hutt branch offers many volunteer opportunities to get involved with local conservation, including regular planting sessions, working bees, potting up native seedlings (Tues mornings, 9am - 12pm Park St Depot). Sue Millar: 526 7440
Experience native beech forest at Ecclesfield Reserve, a Forest & Bird-owned reserve in Silverstream. Take the track to Te Kouka lookout for excellent views of the surrounding area. Forest & Bird has ongoing pest control in the reserve. Contact Leo & Lynne Smith 528 3171
Old Man's Beard Project
You may have noticed that when you drive along River Road and look at the bank on the western side that there are a lot of gaps in the bush canopy and the fringes of these areas are full of dead looking vines. This is good news, as a group from Forest& Bird Upper Hutt Branch and local volunteers have been working away each week to cut back and poison the Old Man’s Beard vine that had taken over parts of the bush and was threatening to collapse the bush canopy.
In May 2016 Chris Cosslett (spraying contractor from Pinehaven) contacted Forest & Bird Upper Hutt Branch to find out if we were interested in working on the removal of Old Man’s Beard along the escarpment on the western side of River Road. He had spoken to Wellington Regional Council, DoC and Upper Hutt City Council, who all were in favour of the project but did not have funding to do the job. Chris also approached St Pat’s Silverstream, as part of the problem was on their land at the southern end of the road. St Pat’s agreed to fund the work on their land and in July a group of 6 started at the southern end of St Pat’s land – a steep escarpment and heavily infested with the vine.
Since July we have worked our way north along River Road and have now completed the initial cutting and pasting to Moonshine Road entrance to Riverstone (DoC owned Trentham Reserve). . We have done just over 500 volunteer hours as a dedicated group and are really proud of what we have achieved with our weekly working bees. The area we have cut on St Pat’s land has been commercially sprayed to catch any new season regrowth.
With the River Road section successfully under control, we have moved onto a major infestation area below Riverstone, opposite Whakatiki Street. This area follows the walkway from Moonshine Bridge north to Whakatiki River. There have been other areas identified in Whitemans Valley, Mangaroa Valley, Birchville, Maymorn Road, Mangaroa Hill- to name a few. We would love to have some more community volunteers to help with this work and they can contact us via email UpperHutt.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz
Old Man’s Beard is a member of the Clematis family and is a prolific seeding plant which grows vigorously on shrubs and trees up to 20m or more. A plant is capable of forming a tangled, smothering mass, which can blanket and area up to 200m²blocking out light and eventually topping and killing the supporting plants. Old Man’s Bed is a major pest plan problem in New Zealand and threatens many native forests, reserves and garden shrubs.
Forest & Bird Upper Hutt would like to eradicate this weed from our city and rural area, so if you have it on your property or know of it near you, you can contact us via our email address or contact Greater Wellington Regional Council Biosecurity Department or Upper Hutt City Council. There is a good web page at http://www.weedbusters.org.nz/weed-information/clematis-vitalba/59/ which gives a lot of information about how to manage the weed.
Let’s get Upper Hutt Old Man’s Beard free!