Here we are at the end of March and the late summer weather continues on! Gary and I were delighted to host several groups over the past couple of weeks, being able to make use of our Visitors Centre to show presentations and to chat about our vision, followed by guided tours along stretches of both the Whitehorse Walkway and Big Easy trails!
Last weekend we had a full house, on the Saturday afternoon we spent a couple of hours with delegates from Rotary who were in town for the District Conference - around 100 visitors came along! Followed by a visit on Sunday from our young environmental gurus - Kiwi Conservation Club! Yesterday on a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon we also had a visit from our neighbours across the river, Waitaki Forest & Bird Branch members!
Following a presentation on the Ecosanctuary project and an update on the predator fence, we moved off up the hill to the Bush and made straight for the colossal giant Kahikatea trees of around 800 to a thousand years old. Its quite extraordinary to look up to the canopy towering overhead and then to search on the footpath below to find tiny seedlings of only a few centimetres height...just to think that they will in turn become another giant of the Bush..given a few hundred years on!We then walked along the Big Easy track where there are now a number ofDOC Traps and an active trapping programme happening with our trained and authorised volunteers checking every two days. Since the trapping commenced 8 weeks ago there have been 35 possums and a number of stoats, weasels,hedgehogs and a ferret caught. The aim is to increase the number of traps and place these stations in other areas of the regenerating native forest.
We wandered along the track with a following of several piwakawaka very actively watching for insects we disturbed ...taking our time...to look at the many varieties of tree species, fungi (stinkhorn) and other species. The group had plenty of questions but mostly it was the general mood of enjoyment at seeing remnants of original native bush and the predator fence work that will ensure the regeneration of much more bush once the remaining pocket of Wallaby now inside the 95 haEcosanctuary is eliminated.A great afternoon with very interested members of the F & B group topped off with a cuppa and biscuits back at the Visitor Centre.
Thank you to everyone who has come along over the past few weeks, it has been an absolute pleasure to meet you all! We look forward to seeing you again soon!
~ Ann and Gary 🌳🐦