Plant nursery in new digs

The Tamahere Community Plant Nursery volunteers have overcome daunting challenges to re-establish the nursery in a new home.

After eight months wandering in the wilderness, its thousands of plants housed at six private sites around the district, the nursery is once again operational in its own premises.

The nursery was evicted from its old home beside the Tamahere Community Centre last April after it failed to fit in with plans for the new sport and recreation grounds.

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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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New view from bridge

The view from the Allan Turner suspension bridge has changed in recent weeks as a short stretch of walkway has been built below it along the Mangaharakeke Stream bank.

The bridge, opened last October, spans the Mangaharakeke Stream from Tamahere’s Woodcock Rd to Matangi’s Fuchsia Lane and has proved to be a popular walking and biking route for people in both communities.

Now, the start of another link between the two communities has been forged with the completion of a 250m stretch of walkway, which one day may reach 1.5km from the bridge to Bilsthorpe Lane in Matangi.

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Stocks to pot

The last Sunday working session for the year will be held this coming Sunday, December 7 at the Tamahere Community Nursery starting at 1.30pm.

“We had an inspirational field trip in November to three gully sites in Hamilton but as a consequence lots of seedlings need to be potted on to build up plants stocks for next year,” says Jan Simmons of Tamahere Gully Care.

“This is a busy time of year with pre-Christmas functions but if you can make it to the nursery on Sunday we would love to see you there.

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Wetland planting afoot

Tamahere Gully Care is taking a field trip this Sunday to nearby Lake Serpentine or Rotopiko, the latest area to be enclosed by a predator-proof fence.

The fence around the Waipa district lake was completed in June and the purpose of the field trip will be to plant in the newly protected area.

“We will be planting inside the fence to bulk up the existing kahikatea stand so please bring your spade,” said organiser Jan Simmons of the September 1 outing.

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Family’s enthusiasm transforms eyesore

A Tamahere family’s enthusiasm for native flora and fauna coupled with a wish for greater privacy has transformed a weed-infested gully into a newly accessible landscape of native plants and wetlands.

The family’s brief to Tamahere landscaper Mark Sherson was simple: transform this space from an overgrown eyesore into something that complements the rest of the property and provides a native legacy that will benefit the property for years to come.

The family also wanted more privacy from future neighbouring developments, said Sherson of Higher Ground Landscapes.

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One man’s work, by gully

By his own admission, Leo Koppens is an environmental terrorist. His enemies are willows, wandering dew and blackberry; his weapons, weed killer, slashers and chainsaws, plus a sturdy pair of boots. If he wins the battle, the gully networks in Tamahere and Matangi, south of Hamilton, will again become forests of mighty kahikatea, totara and kauri, filled with the songs of tui and bellbirds.

He won’t see it happen, of course.

“We are laying the foundation for what will happen. It won’t be in my time, but it will be in my grandchildren’s time and beyond,” he says.

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Reserve restoration stymied

Tamahere’s top environmental project risks grinding to a halt as local conservationists find their efforts to restore a native wetland hitting a wall of bureaucracy.

The 4.6ha Tamahere Reserve was a weed-infested, rubbish-strewn haven for possums and other pests when it was taken on as a restoration project last year by a hardworking group led by local man, Leo Koppens of Tamahere Gully Care.

But despite significant progress on the ground the group was so frustrated by a lack of collaboration from the Waikato District Council and the Conservation Department that it was considering its future, Koppens told the Tamahere Community Committee this week.

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Reserve restoration gets green light

Tamahere’s top environmental restoration project has won the support of the Waikato District Council.

A plan to restore the neglected, 4.6ha Tauwhare Rd reserve won the support of the council’s water and facilities committee this week to the delight of project co-ordinator Leo Koppens.

“Support from members of the community has already been great and now we’ve got the council’s go ahead we can really plan ahead and take up locals’ offers of help,” he said.

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Walkway to be celebrated

Already proving popular with Tamahere School pupils and strollers alike a newly completed walkway linking Birchwood Lane and Camdon place will be officially opened at 10am on June 30.

With so few footpaths in Tamahere the latest addition, providing a welcome circuit that includes Newell and Devine Rds as well as a new pedestrian route to Tamahere School, will be launched with due ceremony to which community members are invited.

The Violet McKenzie Walkway, named for an adjoining landowner, will be officially opened at the Camdon Place junction (off Koppens Rd) with the help of Tamahere School pupils.

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