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Planting for ecological health at Edmond’s Ruins

Monday September 1, 2014


Planting for ecological health at Edmond’s Ruins

A team of volunteers dedicated to restoring and maintaining the ecological health of land in the Kerikeri Inlet area has just completed some new planting at Edmond’s Ruins.

Volunteers from the Southern Kerikeri Inlet Landcare group have spent several weekends over July and August planting 200 native plants in the vicinity of the ruins – including 103 Puriris. The Ruins – dating back to the 1840s-50s – are cared for by Heritage New Zealand (formerly the NZ Historic Places Trust) and can be viewed by the public.

“The planting at Edmond’s Ruins involved about 30 people who planted native species and carried out weed control,” says Southern Kerikeri Inlet Landcare group coordinator, Mike Thompson.

“As well as enhancing the aesthetic values of this important heritage site, we’re hopeful that as the plants mature they’ll help encourage growth in the kiwi population, and the natural return of other lost species which sometimes visit but no longer live in the area.”

Trees for the planting near Edmonds Ruins were supplied by Heritage New Zealand, the Shadehouse Kerikeri and individual members of the group. Mita Harris of Heritage New Zealand, who manages Edmond’s Ruins and other Heritage New Zealand properties, is enthusiastic about the group’s dedication and commitment.

“The Southern Kerikeri Inlet Landcare group has done some tremendous work around the district – and particularly so in the Ruins area,” says Mita.

“The Ruins are an important historic site, and advice from Heritage New Zealand colleagues regarding archaeological sensitivities was incorporated into the planting plan. We’re delighted with the work that’s been done so far and we’re looking forward to the next phase of planting which will include 30 pohutukawa trees before the end of the year,” says Mita.

“Control of weeds, privet and wattle has been our focus on this site to date and it is really rewarding to now be focusing on new planting. We are very grateful for all their hard work.”

Besides planting, the group also carries out other activities in the wider inlet area including trapping possums, controlling rats, encouraging natural regrowth as well as the never-ending job of weed-busting – important work in restoring the land back to sound ecological health.

A growing interest in hands-on environmental work as a result of working on his 2ha patch of regenerating native forest near Edmond’s Ruins over the past 15 years helped provide the inspiration for Mike to take his commitment to environmental care to the next level with others in the area who share similar conservation goals.

“So far on our property this year we’ve trapped a total of 55 possums, rats and other pests – including one stoat,” says Mike.

“It must be making a difference!”

In addition to his commitment to the Southern Kerikeri Inlet Landcare group, Mike has also worked as a volunteer at the Kerikeri Shadehouse, which grows native trees from seed and currently provides about 25,000 plants a year to local landcare groups and for island plantings at a cheap rate.

“I really enjoy doing this kind of work – and that’s the main reason I do it,” says Mike.

“It’s also nice to think that I, and others involved in this work, are contributing something towards the future.”

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