One of the really positive initiatives on the North Shore in recent years has been the development of five restoration networks. These networks bring together groups carrying out similar work in reserves and on private land. Generally, the groups focus on reducing invasive weeds and predators, improving tracks and providing interpretation signage. Some are accepting of the use of poison bait and some, such as Devonport, have traditionally avoided using poisons, instead trying to manage the difficult job of predator control with traps alone. Diversity rules.
Groups come to these networks with a wide range of experience, from those who have been working in the area for years to those who have only just become interested and involved in their local reserve or school project. Those with experience help those who are new, sharing best practice methods, “what works for me” and strategies for dealing with council and obtaining funding for projects. Issues of communication, money and volunteer support are universal themes and all the networks are well supported by council parks, biosecurity and biodiversity staff.
The oldest group on the shore is the Kaipātiki Restoration Network (KRN), which meets every two months. This group has grown hugely in the past two years, with many of the Kaipātiki reserves now having active restoration groups trying hard to make a difference. KRN is now developing the Pest Free Kaipātiki initiative, a bold project to rid the whole area of plant and animal pests over 10 years. It has been great to be involved with this and to see the support coming from passionate local leaders, council staff and the local board.
The newest group is the Hibiscus & Bays Restoration Network, which covers a huge area and includes the Pest Free Peninsula project of the Hibiscus Coast Branch of Forest & Bird. I attend this network with my Forest & Bird hat on, but also in my Centennial Park chair role.
Devonport/Takapuna, despite being almost devoid of bush, has two groups, one north and one south. The main project in Devonport/Takapuna is Shoal Bay. Branch member, Philip Moll, is the driving force behind the success of this project.
Upper Harbour Ecology Network meets monthly, led by now local board member Nicholas Mayne. Committee member John Brown attends this network.
One of the positive spin-offs of these groups is that they are attended by one or more local board members. These members have learned a huge amount about the environmental issues in their areas and this has translated into more tangible support for groups.
All these groups are working in the North-West Wildlink (NWWL) area, from the gulf islands through to the Waitākere ranges. The North-West Wildlink, established by Forest & Bird, is now led by the NWWL Partnership (including F&B), which is holding an information meeting on Wednesday 15th February to update those interested in the considerable recent progress made by the NWWL. Details will be in the Habitat Extra email newsletter.
If you are passionate about a local reserve or have native bush on your land and want to get more involved, please consider joining one of these networks. You will be inspired by what is going on out there.
Devonport Enviro Network – Maria Teape firstname.lastname@example.org
Takapuna Environmental Network – Rachel Bro email@example.com
Kaipātiki Restoration Network – Keith Salmon Kaipatikirestorationnetwork@gmail.com
Hibiscus & Bays Restoration Network – Sally Cargill firstname.lastname@example.org
Upper Harbour Ecology Network – Nicholas Mayne Upperharbourecology@gmail.com
North-West Wildlink – Mary Frankham email@example.com