River Group News for 2020

  • Laura Kent Reserve Working Group's Dugald Wilson says they have begun working on the true left of the river from Radley St to Connal Reserve (between the river and Ferry Rd) as well as Laura Kent Reserve, removing poplar saplings and opening views to the river. They started work on removing blackberry after a conversation with the motel owner on Ferry Road and shortly after the CCC sent a work-gang and that area is largely cleared.  The motel owner is very pleased. We have also been stirring the pot with a proposal to install a eel (tuna) feeding station.

  • Friends of Farnley Reserve, behind the Centaurus Rd shops has a very successful first year (and a bit) despite having more than an unwelcome helping hand ‘tidying’ up the reserve. They have removed masses of tradescantia and convolvulus, replacing them with mulch and new plants.

  • Summit Road Society has begun developing Linda Woods Reserve, a  233ha property located between the Avoca and Horotane Valleys. It is being developed into an open space reserve for the people of Christchurch to enjoy. Some access points have been temporarily closed as they carry out rock stabilisation work.

  • Predator free groups have been busy expanding out into the suburbs if you would like to join one of these groups, get more information or even buy a trap see predatorfreenz.org

  • Ernle Clark Reserve held regular working bees on the last Saturday of every month. A trial with button daisy as a ground cover looks promising, and a student from University of Canterbury is carrying out a bio-control trial with beetles on tradescantia. Although the annual battle with giant hogweed, tradescantia and sycamores continues, native trees continue to surprise and delight the volunteers with their self-sown seedlings. Council staff began a limited amount of work in the reserve after 4 years with no contractors and major maintenance work is currently underway on infrastructure at the Barrington St end. After 12 years of lobbying CCC senior ecologist Nick Head arranged for the weedy drooping sedge (Carex pendula) to be sprayed.
    It remains a people's park with many groups and individuals making the place their own and during the Covid-19 lockdown the reserve was full of walkers, cyclists and dogs.

  • Calder Green Reserve, organised by Forest & Bird and supported by Christchurch City Council Rangers, Coastal Unit, Regional Parks, has been holding quarterly biird surveys along the river and estuary. They have been removing the invasive Sea lavender, Limonium companyions from the salt marsh areas as it grows to a dense mat and crowds out natives species. Their riparian planting programme along the river banks of the Lower Heathcote includes development of a lizard sanctuary in an area adjacent to the Ōpāwaho Trail opposite the Calder Green Reserve and planting of mostly Coprosma spp., Meuhlenbeckia spp.; and sedges.

  • Steam Wharf Stream Restoration Group are still happily planting and removing invasive animal and plant species in order to improve the ecological health of the stream. The group is participating in the Whitebait Watch Project which is a national citizen science project teaching the community how to identify and record īnanga/whitebait spawning sites in their local streams and rivers. Community training will again take place over Summer 2021.

  • Several new groups sprang up this year including the Donkey Track group, Kennaways and Purau Reserve. We also added Westmorland East Valley Reserve to the list.