Volunteers use loppers to remove Pinus contorta wilding pines at Wairepo, near Omarama. Photo by Doc
More than 105ha near Twizel has been cleared of wilding pines
after a mammoth effort by volunteers and the Department of
Conservation last weekend.
Members of the Ohau Conservation Trust, Lindis Conservation
Group, Forest and Bird, Timaru over 60s group and Lake Ohau
Lodge joined Department of Conservation (Doc) Rangers for two
days, removing 3 to 4-year-old pines at the Wairepo
Kettleholes Conservation Area.
The department organises the annual event as an opportunity
for different volunteer groups to mingle and work on a
"Having such a large group of active volunteers tackle the
rogue pines makes the physical work a lot of fun and can
establish great friendships," the department's threat ranger,
Peter Willemse, said.
The Wairepo area was established in 2005, when Glen Eyrie
Downs Station completed tenure review. Since then regular
sweeps have been made of the area to remove wilding pines.
"We are now starting to see the native vegetation
flourishing. Tussocks and small native plants are coping
better since the removal of trees," Mr Willemse said.
Located on Quailburn Rd, near Omarama, the area is regularly
visited by people hoping to see native birds such as black
stilt (kaki), wrybill (ngutu parore), black-fronted tern
(tarapirohe) and shoveller duck (kuruwhengi).
The area is made up of moraine and outwash gravels from the
Ohau glacier, present more than 10,000 years ago.
Small depressions within these moraines, which sometimes fill
up with water, are called kettle holes.