Toe toe the line on pampas

Here in our fertile lush region everything grows like a weed, including the weeds.

As you would expect in a warm temperate part of the world, we have a huge variety of pest plants.

There are the classic creepers and stranglers like jasmine, honeysuckle and convolvulus that choke the plants that we’re trying to grow, and the dreaded privet trees with their ghastly flowers making us ill.

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Workshop sows the seed

This year’s Hamilton Gully Restoration Seminar Series concludes this Saturday with a practical workshop at the Tamahere Community Nursery.

Led by plant experts Jan Simmons and Peter Morris, the session from 10am to 1pm at the Devine Rd nursery will cover seed collection protocols, seed types and treatment as well as demonstrations of seed sowing.

There will be opportunities for participants to prick out and pot on seedlings and to test their knowledge of native plants in plant identification exercises.

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Giants talk on gullies

The annual gully restoration seminar series begins this week with talks by giants in the field including Waikato University Professor Bruce Clarkson and hands-on gully expert Peter Morris.

Clarkson, recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost authorities on ecological restoration, will set the scene for a week of seminars, including in Tamahere, at Waikato University on Thursday, August 13.

At the same evening session, renowned plantsman Morris, who has restored a Matangi gully over 30 years, will tackle some of the issues that arise in restoration projects: money, plant biodiversity and slips.

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Sing out for bellbird

A male bellbird has been spotted feeding in trees in a Hamilton gully, sparking a call from Hamilton Halo project partners for residents to report sightings.

Bellbirds or korimako are endemic to New Zealand but until recently had been virtually unseen in Hamilton.

A member of the public contacted Hamilton City Council last week after hearing what he thought was a bellbird’s distinctive song in AJ Seeley Gully at Claudelands.

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Waikato’s native wonders unveiled

A wealth of opportunities to learn about and experience the native forest wonders of the Waikato – hidden in plain sight in the region’s unique gullies – is on offer during February.

Tamahere’s Gully Care group plays a key role in the month of tours, lectures, and field trips dedicated to the Waikato and Hamilton city gullies by hosting the first field trip at its Devine Rd plant nursery on Sunday, February 5.

Evening lectures through the Waikato University’s Continuing Education Centre explore the history of urban forest remnants and …

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Cat control saves birds

Birdlife is thriving in parts of Tamahere as residents plant more and a greater variety of trees but a growing number of cats is likely to be threatening the resurgent bird population.

The gully restoration forum held recently in Tamahere showed that the area’s gullies are an increasingly important Waikato ecosystem and the return of tui and other native birds gives a wildlife seal of approval to residents’ efforts.

But studies show that if left to roam uncontrolled the domestic moggy can cut a swathe through bird numbers.

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