Our first Working Bee in late February saw a great team of workers tidy up the Department of Conservation walking path at the end of Acacia Road out to Taumaihi, the reserve right at the end of Acacia Road. We hope that the regulars who walk out there appreciate our efforts. As well as undertaking weeding and a tidy up of the area, three wasp nests were dealt to at the same time (more about wasp nests elsewhere in this Newsletter).
This summer, the Landcare Okareka volunteers will focus their efforts on the Taumaihi re-serve area. There are a large number of weeds growing in the reserve, which we want to tidy up, with Department of Conservation's blessing. We would then like to plant up the edges of the reserve once all of the weeds are under control, with native plants suitable to the area. A big thank you is owing to the Lebua Lake House manager for continuing to get his gardeners to mow the grassed area of the reserve, so the public can continue to enjoy walking here.
The Lake Okareka Walkway has had some of the delivered gravel spread on it and the track surface is now very good. Hopefully, Castlecorp staff will continue to mow the edges out to the toilets. Volunteers from Landcare Okareka have kept edges trimmed from the toilets out to the end – thank you to them – and thanks also to the LO volunteer who continues to regularly mow the top part of the walkway around the seat and tables and along the carpark to Playne's farm gate and keeps the place looking neat and tidy. The mowing by Castlecorp of local reserves and road sides has become so erratic, with some places looking more like hay or silage crops, before they are mowed.
Recently Landcare Okareka volunteers have had some of the BOPRC loan Timm's traps working along the walkway. I think the number of possums caught in one recent 2 week stint will be the largest caught to date in one stint of trapping! Great work LO volunteers, especially Elli Walter, also known as “the possum exterminator”!
Update on the bat project – long tail bats have definitely been found on the edge of the Oka-reka settlement and in the north eastern area of the Lake Okareka catchment – off Millar Road. So thank you to those land owners who have so willingly allowed access to Mike Goodwin to put out bat boxes. The bat boxes have now been returned to DOC, as another group wished to use them. We would like to thank DOC Rotorua Lakes area and especially Rhys Burns, for their help with this project. Thanks also to Stephanie Bathgate from Bay of Plenty Regional Council for her help with this project, as well.
We hope to able to continue searching the balance of the Lake Okareka catchment next summer looking for more bat locations.
There will be many more Working Bees in 2014, around Lake Okareka, usually on the fourth Saturday of each month. So if you would like to help, watch out for the sign boards and come along. You will be most welcome.
Sandra Goodwin 362 8865 Landcare Okareka - Winner of Bay of Plenty Region Weedbusters Award 2012-2013