Henley Lake Wetlands - Plantings

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Since Henley Trust 2003 was formed, there has been a planting programme based on the concept Produced in the 2003 play. This programme is expanding every year. There are still plenty of areas to be planted, while leaving open spaces. Tracks will be formed through the trees, with seats and lookout points to watch the birds from. The bird life is increasing as habitat is created for them. Kereru and morepork have been spotted, and we are looking forward to the first kaka! IN 2004 the Friends of Henley Lake planted the area around the old bird hide, which had been burnt by vandals. This is to the west of the new bird observation tower. The areas just north of this were enhanced with quite large totaras that were donated by Bob Cockburn, (from his property in Upper Plain, which has an original piece of native forest, with many seedlings.) This area also saw the planting of forest giants, miro, matai, rimu, titoki, and other nursery specimens. There were some happy working days with tea and coffee and scones and pikelets provided by Janet Dennison, Dot Farland while Tenick Dennison supervised the planting. Another area that was planted at this time was the mixed native plantings just south/east of the culvert. This area has thrived, with some help from the "bucket brigade" in the early years, and some working bees. If you wander in these two blocks you will find specimens of miro, matai, beech, kauri, rata, rimu, and their accompanying nursery plants. The stream south of the playground was planted with carex and flax. This succumbed to spray in its first season, and had to be replanted. It is now thriving and providing cover for this stream. It was helped on its way by weeding by a willing volunteer.

LAKEVIEW SCHOOL. The first planting that Lakeview was involved in was before the Trust was set up, and the area south of the Bird Tower, and between the ponds was planted. Unfortunately this planting succumbed to the ravages of frost, and mowers, and there is no sign of it now, although it was mulched and tended at the beginning.

2005 - The second Lakeview Planting under the management of the Henley Trust 2003 was west of the culvert (near the small walking bridge, and was planted with kahikatea, ribbonwood, cabbage trees, and toe toe and carex along the stream edge. The stream edge was planted and is a good example of a riparian planting. It looks very attractive.

2006 – Lakeview planted the stream which runs south on the eastern side of the complex. Kowhais, kanuka, manuka, coprosmas, toe toe, carex etc are growing well.

2007, 2008, 2009 – South/West of the ponds. An ongoing planting that is gradually planting all the stream and pond edges. You can locate the different areas by the signs marking each one.

2010 – Wetland area. This year we took a different approach, and followed the suggestion of Trevor Thompson, (Wairarapa QE II National Trust Representative), to recreate a "typical" NZ wetland. The students, with a good turnout of volunteers planted 100 kahikatea, coprosmas of various sorts, carex secta, c virgata, toe toe, cabbage trees and a few other varieties. This planting is more specific than the mixed species planting we have done in previous years. There was major preparation of the site with the area bulldozed and willows removed.

KURA KAUPAPA O WAIRARAPA planted a small area adjacent to the Lakeview Planting of 2006. This was notable for the skilfully decorated stakes that the students brought to mark their plants.

ST PATRICK'S SCHOOL St Pats are planting the old maze area. They are creating a "Street Trees Block", which is blocks of single species planted between shelter nursery trees. This area will be an excellent teaching block where specific trees can be identified. This project will be completed over a number of years, 2010 being the third year. The maze has now been completely removed, but there is ongoing work with removing the regrowth of the maze plant, escalonia, and broom and eucalytus seedlings. Some of the grass and weeds are providing good shelter at this stage, but in the longer term will be removed. Mulch is on hand and being applied as the students plant. In 2010 nursery plantings, and some of the more hardy species such as totara, manuka, kanuka, kahikatea, and matai will be planted. Adjacent to the maze area the school is helping to plant a cabbage tree forest.

DOUGLAS PARK SCHOOL. This school has been involved in planting a wetland area in 2009, and both sides of the culvert on the western side in 2010. They have planted the mound beside the culvert with low growing species. Watch this area, it will be most attractive. This area is home to a most unusual blackbird, which has black markings around its neck!

IDEA SERVICES Three years of planting in the area just south of the Bird Tower have been completed. This group take some responsibility for spreading mulch, and weeding.

DANIELL CABBAGE TREE PLANTING. 153 Cabbage Trees are to be planted as a family commemorative planting.

PLANTS , FUNDING AND MAINTENANCE! So where does Henley Trust get its plants from? We have a number of sources, but it is all reliant on funding. Henley Trust 2003 applied to the Greater Wellington Take Care Scheme, which is awarded for stream and wetland riparian planting. We have been fortunate to have been awarded this funding for two consecutive periods. Plants are funded from this scheme, and bought from the Wairarapa Native Nursery in Norfolk Road, and from Trees for Wairarapa (now closed). We have also received funding from BOC, Where There's Water Community Grants since 2006. Robinson's Nursery have been very generous in giving us plants over the years, and this year (2010) we were given several hundred trees, which have all found homes in the Henley Lake area, Lakeview School, Douglas Park School, and Manuka Reserve. There is a nursery at Manuka Reserve, run by a volunteer, which has been growing plants over the last few years, and is able to provide the nursery trees, flax, cabbage trees etc for the various plantings. The only cost to the Henley Trust is a supply of potting mix! We have been given plants by enthusiastic people who pot up plants for the love of it, and then need a home for them. This year we were given 150 plants from a backyard garden in Lansdowne. I am always receiving phone calls from people who have plants they would like to give for Henley Lake. These are potted up and find a home in the Manuka Reserve nursery until they are used. Planting Days are an exercise in organisation. First the decision is made as to what plantings and areas are to be planted, or continued from the previous year. Then the cost of plants, numbers required, locating them, and ordering takes place. Closer to the time liaising with the schools and finding a suitable date, hoping that the sun will shine on that day, collecting the plants, getting them on site, placing them out, notifying our Friends group and other volunteers, and then welcoming the planters and getting on with the job!! Afterwards there is the disposal of the bags, or recycling them as is appropriate at the time. Maintenance is of course ongoing! We have been fortunate to have mulch from the olive press provided, and placed as close to the plantings as is feasible. The Trust is very appreciative of this service! The Periodic Detention Teams are involved at Henley Lake, and do a lot of work weeding and mulching. Henley Lake and Wetlands is a "work in progress", and we are always in need of willing volunteers.

Liz Waddington
Henley Trustee August 2010