Over a hundred people attended the Peria Landcare Day at the Bush Fairy Dairy held by the Honeymoon Landcare Trust on October 6th.
Far North locals enjoyed networking and hearing from a range of presenters that inspired landowners to get involved and take action to care for their special local resources including native wildlife, forests, fresh water and kiwi.
Article and photos submitted by Yvonne Steinemann, Honeymoon Valley Landcare Trust
Peria is inland from Taipa and central to several valleys with streams, and the recent Peria Landcare Day attracted a large crowd of over 100 people at the Bush Fairy Dairy. Organised by Honeymoon Valley Landcare Trust, the outreach to the neighbouring communities of Kaiaka, Fern Flat, Fairburn, Maungataniwha, Peria Valley, Oruru and downstream Doubtless Bay showed the widespread interest in doing the right Landcare thing and meeting with others.
Advertised locally and with a leaflet drop in all the RD 2 letterboxes, Trust spokesperson Shayne Waldron said:
“The emphasis for the day was on networking and inspiring positive community action”.
The Peria community enjoys their bush environment, alongside farming and forestry land use, and everyone could take something home to help towards Landcare and enhancing local native bird life, knowing others will be helping in their home zone.
Presentations offered by 10 different speakers had key messages, with the afternoon for a variety of demonstrations in several large tents out on the lawn.
Lesley Baigent, Far North Kiwi Coast Coordinator, local kiwi advocate and kiwi dog aversion trainer, had over 50 people including children entranced with her description of kiwis lifestyle in the different seasons and local environments.
We truly are blessed that kiwi still remain in the wild in our area, they are an amazing indicator of the pest balance and bush health.
Living responsibly with pets in a kiwi care zone is a continual educational effort, and visitors and new residents may be completely unaware. Signage is important, and prioritising local and pig hunting dogs to do Kiwi Aversion Training.
Northland Regional Council (NRC) Biosecurity Officer Mike Knight gave us hope that in future technology may enable automated distant traps to be a reality, when mass manufacture will make them more affordable. New toxins with minimal secondary kill are being developed. One stoat will kill as many birds as two cats.
Smart pest trap baiting and setting is a skill. Elevating all traps 70 cm off the ground on ramps in kiwi habitat is essential.
We are proud of Steve Allan – our local SA 2 feral cat and possum trap developer/ manufacturer, always offering practical experience for successful pest control efforts. Possum fur is currently bringing in $130/kg, which helps trappers to cover their costs.
Steve emphasized skills, knowledge, application and hard work are what it takes for success.
Fresh water quality was outlined by Lester Bridson, NRC. The 55,000 ha Doubtless Bay Catchment has 3 sub-catchments of Oruaiti, Oruru, and Awapoko. Fresh water quality is monitored in several streams, and sedimentation is one of the biggest challenges in our catchment.
Doug Foster from NRC covered effective and targeted weed control that will help to clear out unwanted plant pests.
Greg Blunden of QEII National Trust was pleased to report that more local native areas are in process for being reserved for perpetuity, and this increases funding opportunities for pest maintenance.
The new coastal Doubtless Bay Landcare group were pleased to be involved, as they are now in Year 2 of their project.
Linking the younger generation into Landcare activities, citizen science, employment opportunities, and experiential education is essential. Whitebait Connection stream monitoring, Kiwi listening, observing kiwi nests with cameras etc are examples.
It was a first effort for such a wide outreach by Honeymoon Valley Landcare Group, and locals are keen to make it an annual event.
Meanwhile Working bees and Kiwi Dog Aversion Training will continue. You can keep up with what’s happening on the Facebook pages of “Honeymoon Valley Landcare” and “Doubtless Bay Landcare” or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thanks to the supportive Bush Fairy Dairy for the ideal venue and catering on the day, and to sponsors Department of Conservation, QEII National Trust, Kiwi Coast and Northland Regional Council.