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North Canterbury resident nominated for Weedbuster Award

30 June, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

North Canterbury resident nominated for Weedbuster Award

North Canterbury resident Gillian Giller is very quiet about her 12 years of weeding work throughout Canterbury. However, Weedbusters found out about her voluntary weedbusting work while accompanying her husband Miles Giller, North Canterbury QEII National Trust representative, to QEII covenants.

Gillian accompanies Miles to the weediest QEII Trust covenants where she sets about systematically and professionally eliminating weeds.

The biennial QEII Trust visits help her keep up the weeding pressure at each site. Gillian undertakes various types of weedbusting work - chainsawing and poisoning boxthorn to prevent it crowding out the nationally threated shrub wiggywig (Muehlenbeckia astonii); cutting and pasting a hectare of small gorse and broom plants growing through young kanuka in a covenant on the Canterbury Plains; controlling old man’s beard in forest patches; killing barberry and buddleia invading forest remnant covenants around Kaikoura; controlling blackberry in the Conway Hill’s covenants; and targeting wilding pines, hawthorn, ash and sycamore.

Alice Shanks of the QEII Banks Peninsula National Trust says Gillian is a good field botanist whose great eye for plants enables her to weed around some of our rarest flora with skill. “Her involvement with the Canterbury Botanical Society committee for 15 years is another way that she helps spread the knowledge of our indigenous flora and the weeds that threaten it,” she said.

“Gillian's weedbusting has added to the viability and sustainability of covenants. Her work reflects well on the Trust and helps covenant landowners.”

Beyond weedbusting, Gillian uses her family nursery to grow seeds and cuttings from rare plants from covenants and later returns them to boost their populations.

Kirk's climbing broom on Banks Peninsula (Carmichaelia kirkii), Waipara wiggywig ( Muehlenbeckia astonii) and North Canterbury unexpected sedge (Carex inopinata) populations have benefited from her nursery skills, as well as the increasingly rare kanuka.

The Weedbuster 2014 Canterbury Awards are supported by Environment Canterbury, the Department of Conservation and Canterbury territorial authorities. According to Weedbuster Award coordinators Alan McDonald (Department of Conservation) and Gemma Livingstone (Environment Canterbury): “It’s nice to have the opportunity through Weedbusters to give recognition and thanks to volunteers for their contribution towards protecting New Zealand’s native biodiversity through weed control.” Weedbuster Awards will be made later in 2014.

For more information on Weedbusters, go to www.weedbusters.org.nz


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