Planting has never been so easy…with the ground soft and muddy, it was more akin to ladling chocolate pudding than our usual sweat-inducing exercise trying to dig a hole! In some cases this did result in mud actually flowing into shoes and sneakers, creating squishy socks for the rest of the day. A wet reminder to wear gumboots on our planting days in winter, not just tramping boots. To balance out the easy work, a couple of brave volunteers pulled out re-sprouting gorse and blackberry, triumphant when getting another of these thorny pests out.

Because we were with many, it was a sunny day and the soil was soft, we finished early and most of us went back to the barn to start on lunch with lovely home made soups, breads and salads. Our photographers Jacqui and Stefan went for a walk with John and discovered… a second pair of pateke (brown teal) in our most recently dug pond! One of the pair was wearing a yellow leg band, which means it is one birds originally translocated to Te Henga in 2015. It was the highlight of the day to hear it is still around, looking happy and healthy. And as this is a pair, let’s hope they start breeding soon as well.

Our upcoming working bees are always on the Third Sunday of the month, from 10 am to 1 pm. The next ones are:

  • Sunday August 18th
  • Sunday September 15th
  • Sunday October 20th

A big “thank you” to all of you who have came along before, and a big “welcome” to new volunteers! We start at 10 am as (although some eager beavers are usually there from 8.30 am) and keep going until 1 pm, followed by a shared lunch (optional). There is no public transport unfortunately but ample parking spots, and the opportunity to go to the beach afterwards. Let us know if you’ve got any questions, otherwise just turn up at 111 Bethells Road, with suitable gear (sunscreen and/or rain coats) and sturdy, CLEAN, footwear. This is important because we are kauri dieback free, and like to keep it this way.

This Sunday we’re hoping to plant around our Natural Flow system and mulching around them. If the weather is horrible, we’ll work in the nursery (or just get soaked!)… if there is anything you specifically like to do, drop us a line.

Thanks to all who came and hope to see you next time! – Annalily & the trustees

All images by our voluntary professional photographer Jacqui Geux – thank you!