November 2022 Whitehorse Walkway : New steps being built on track
The popular Whitehorse Walkway runs uphill through the Ecosanctuary to the iconic Whitehorse Monument that was recently upgraded at the Centrewood Park (includes much needed picnic area, signage and toilets). Waimate Trackways Committee in conjunction with the Trustees maintains the track and through Trackways, funding was applied for to build a set of timber framed steps at the steepest section of the Walkway that has long caused issues being prone to slippery mud conditions necessitating a rope “handle” lashed to nearby tree trunks. Martin - Master craftsman of Building Crafts commenced work on constructing steps over the 50m stretch of track. This will make walking this section so much safer. Volunteers helped cart the pre-cut timber and shingle to the site
Waimate Trackways Project
Grant funding through Waimate District Council Recreational Fund
Builder : Martin Mlcoch - Building Crafts Waihao Downs
August 2022 - Totara Tree Planting by The Community Trust of Mid & South Canterbury
The Trustees were delighted to welcome Grant Funders to plant a Totara Tree in the Ecosanctuary by way of a thank you for their support and community funding for the Ecosanctuary.
August-September 2022 -Further Native tree plantings in the Ecosanctuary
A further 3,000 native plants were planted out on the front facing grassy slope of the Ecosanctuary. Low to medium height canopy trees that will enhance the start of the Big Easy Track.
Contractor : Waimate Landscaping Ltd.
Funding : MPI One Billion Tree Fund
September 2022 Ecosanctuary Sponsors - Post Name Plaques
Trustees were pleased to acknowledge a number of donors by way of
A named Post Plaque on the fence posts.
Colin and Pauline Dore/Allan Smith and family/Arnstead Organics/Blair Laurie
To become an Ecosanctuary Donor - see details on the website
August 2022 - Sanctuaries of New Zealand Conference
Trustees attended a 3 day annual conference in Nelson, organised and attended by members of SONZI (Sanctuaries of New Zealand) and a number of conservation agencies. An opportunity to network and liaise with nation-wide Sanctuaries to learn about the many conservation projects being undertaken with NZ Predator Free 2050 being key. It was a vibrant 3 days and a great opportunity.
August 2022 - Wild Wet and Windy Weather
July saw some of the wettest and windiest winter conditions resulting in
Large trees toppled, large slips that smothered sections of the Big Easy
Track and closed off the Ecosanctuary for a period of time.
Members of the Whitehorse Riders MTB group spent several long
Work sessions clearing away fallen trees and bulldozing through slips
To restore the tracks. Incredible effort by all!
June 2022 - QE11 Covenant over the Ecosanctuary
The Trustees signed a Covenanted Agreement with QE11 ensuring the Ecosanctuary to be a place of protected native forest with recreational Walking and biking tracks in perpetuity for the benefit of the community and visitors to the Ecosanctuary.
June-July 2022 Construction of Signage Board Entrance Hut
Construction of Signage Shelter Hut Entrance-way to the Ecosanctuary Completed. Awaiting new track signage and Map of Tracks being designed by Hamish Seaton through Waimate2gether. Signage project funded by Waimate2gether
Construction of shelter hut by Boothys Building
June-July 2022 - Creation of new Mountain Bike/Walking Tracks
The Whitehorse Riders MTB group in liaison with the Ecosanctuary Trustees approved plans to extend and include additional safe gradient MTB tracks. Contractor Andrew Bailey - track making specialist of M3 Earthworks commenced work on an exciting upgrade of MTB tracks to enhance the Recreational walking and biking aspect of the Ecosanctuary. Grant funding through the Waimate District Council Recreational Grant Fund.
MAY 2022 - additional DOC Pest Predator traps set out
An additional 40 DOC pest predator traps were set out in the Ecosanctuary Purchase of materials to make traps was made possible through funding From the Rotary Club of Waimate. There are now 100+ traps set out. Wood bench seat built and set out in the Ecosanctuary with stunning views.
MAY 2022 - Continuation of Native Tree Planting within the Ecosanctuary
A further 15,000 native plants and trees (medium to high canopy) were planted by contractors in designated cleared areas on the hill top of the Ecosanctuary and on the lower grass front face hillside.
Several working bees with volunteers placing plant protectors on new plantings help to reduce risk of wallaby grazing damage and to protect vulnerable plants against wind and chill factor at 400m hill- top level.
Headford Propagators supplied native plants
Funding through the MPI One Billion Tree Fund
February 2022 - Upgrade of Entranceway and start of Big Easy MTB Track
Through funding by the Waimate District Council Recreational Grant Fund, An upgrade to the start of the 7.5 Klm Big Easy Walking and Mountain Bike track was undertaken with Parkside Quarries Oamaru donating a significant amount of lime chip to resurface this section of track. Looks impressive!
Track work was undertaken by a specialist track maker in conjunction with the Trustees and Whitehorse Riders MTB group.
Funding through Waimate District Council Recreational Fund
November 2021 - Pinus Radiata (re-growth) aerial spray control
Prior to the Ecosanctuary being established, re-growth of pinus radiata trees left over from a former area planted in Pinus Radiata required to be either felled or sprayed off. Area planted in exotic forestry required to be either felled or sprayed off. Be aerial spraying the pines die in situ providing a perch for birds and (hopefully) a natural native seed spreader. Terrain was difficult to tackle by conventional contractor spraying means. An aerial spray program to tackle some 2,000 pine wildings within the Ecosanctuary was undertaken in October/November 2021 by an engaged
specialist contractor. Agri-drone Solutions Continuation of this aerial spray project to be continued in Nov/Dec 2022.
Visit by students from Centennial School Waimate
Volunteer Group working bee in the Ecosanctuary
Company staff from a Timaru based office spent a half day on a working bee’ session taking out pest plants in the Ecosanctuary.
October 2021 - DOC Trapping (Certification Courses) held at
The Point Bush Visitor Centre
Visit by students from Waituna Creek School to the Ecosanctuary
October 2021 - Native Tree Planting programme
With funding through the MPI One Billion Tree Fund, 1,500 native tree plantings were planted in the Ecosanctuary. The overall planting plan 2021 to 2023 us to plant 25,000 native plants and trees.
June - July 2021 E-CAN Pest Predator Bait programme
A fully funded Feratox Bait pest predator programme was conducted by contractors through Environment Canterbury (E-CAN); resulting in 155 wallaby and 60 possum successful strike. Further night shoots with thermal imaging have since been conducted with a further bait programme planned for winter 2023. There is now a much reduced wallaby and possum population within the fenced
area. The aim is to achieve a total Wallaby and possum free fenced zone.
Funding through E-CAN
June 2021 - Pest Predator Fence completed
Completed 4.5 Klm of pest predator fencing comprising 1.8m deer fence with galvanized steel mesh reinforced section on lower half and skirt. External fence hot wire. 4 x custom designed metal self-closing access gates and 3 x vehicle access gates. The fence is designed to restrict incursions of
Wallaby, possum and mustelids. A trapping and bait program has been Initiated to monitor and eliminate pest predators within the sanctuary. Local Contractors: Wratt Fencing Contractors, Leathwick Contracting Ltd. Rollinson Engineering
Grant Funders: National Lottery, The Community Trust of Mid & South
Canterbury, Alpine Energy, Aoraki Foundation, RSM Law, private donors
January 2021 Predator Pest trapping commenced
Department of Conservation (DOC) held predator trapping training sessions for volunteers. The Trust purchased a number of DOC traps and set out trapping lines of some 60 traps with mouse/rat bait stations within the Ecosanctuary. The Trust established a trapping data base - TRAPNZ
Volunteers commenced assisting with trapping and pest plant control recording and monitoring data.
Grant funding for purchase of traps and trail cameras through Waimate District Council