There have been many discussions amongst local councils and ecologists about how to remediate the burnt hills, what to do now, and what to do later. A big concern is the risk of erosion from the first rains we get causing sedimentation in our streams. We are also aware that bare soil without management can bring on a large flux of broom and gorse for example; unwanted, non-native, fire hungry species. Te Ara Kākāriki is continuing to be part of the conversation and there will be a public talk coming up soon, so watch out for it.
One of our Ecologists, Colin Meurk has already written a paper of advice for the council and other groups. One of his suggestions was to: “Supply willing land-owners throughout Banks Peninsula with catching devices/methods for kanuka seed – this will be required in the next few weeks (Note: kanuka seed is too fine for nets)” “Attempts may also be made to harvest poroporo, NZ flax (harakeke), cabbage tree (ti kouka), pittosporums, koromiko, manatu, houhere, and mānuka – although this will be on a much smaller scale.” If you would like to collect native seeds, please get in contact with us, and we may be able to source those catching devices through council.
We plan to assist some landowners affected by the fires within the Selwyn District part on Early Valley Road. We hope that many of our valued volunteers will come out to plant there this Spring. We will need more volunteers this year than ever before, so please spread the word, and get your friends in touch with us.