Wilding Pine Eradication
This spring has seen considerable progress towards our goal of getting rid of the wilding pines, not only on the Backdrop Trust land, but on as much of the land directly across the harbour from Whitianga township as we can. While some of this work will be dependant on ongoing funding being available, we can report on what has either happened or is happening right now.
Stage one was completed in August, and that saw the pines cut down on half of the Backdrop Trust. Luckily these pines are small and the surrounding undergrowth is strong and full of native species, so already the areas where the pines have been removed look much better.
Stage two, which is the rest of the Backdrop Trust is being worked on right now and we hope that work will be completed early next month. Having virtually all the pines removed from this land will be a significant milestone for us.
At the same time tenders are being called for the next stage which will be for the pine eradication on all the DoC land at either end of the Backdrop Trust block. This is a pretty big job that we hope will begin early in 2023.
Once the pines are gone from the Backdrop Trust, we will be able to progress other parts of the project including the development of the tracks and the replanting of some of the more open areas with many more native trees. Already we are seeing the difference being made by the predator control work being done in the area by the Purangi Conservation Trust, and it is great to be able to see and hear many more native birds in there than we would have seen a year ago. There is lots more to do but real progress is happening.
This year saw a significant difference, with a majority of the wilding pines removed. There are still many seedlings appearing which are easy to hand pull if found early, this is not a hard job for the team and tends to be a rather satisfying activity while enjoying a lovely bush walk.
There is still plenty of ongoing work in regards to pine eradication, however at this point we are very pleased with the huge progress we have made.
Pest Control has been a huge focus for the team at the Purangi Conservation Trust. They have placed a variety of approximately 116 traps, 35 bait stations, tracking tunnels and even 2 trail cameras to monitor the pest behavior throughout the block, with their goal to eradicate pests or at least minimize numbers.
The end goal for the Back drop Trust is to reintroduce kiwi into the area and get our native bush thriving! We are already seeing and hearing an increase in native birds in the area, and we couldn't be happier!
The Backdrop Trust team has had an exciting year, Over 1000 Locally eco-sourced and grown Native Trees were planted at the Backdrop Trust over the 2023 Winter.
Many hands make light work! Over the winter we had some wonderful helpers from the Mercury Bay Area School who were all super keen to be helping the Trust plant our native trees amongst our regenerating forest.
Many areas have been covered this season with a variety of native trees. We focused a lot on the low lying/wetland by planting Cabbage trees, Kahikatea, Manuka, Flax and more! There was also a focus along the top track by planting plenty of bird feeders, such as, Puriri, Titoki, Kowhai, Kohekohe, Pigeonwood and Mahoe. We are stoked to have a large variety of native trees planted this season and look forward to the following winter plantings.
Track development has been in the books for a while for the Trust. We want the track to be accessible to most by creating a gentle boot track throughout the Back drop, which will offer multiple loop tracks, ranging from roughly 3hrs to 6hrs.