Manawahe Eco Trust Environmental Education programme.
It has been a busy month up at the centre. Work has started again in the food forest, there are all sorts of interesting gardens and plantings. February should be a great time for harvesting food.
This month has had the following groups visit:
- Awakeri year 3/4’s: This group of students came up for day trip that started at 9am and finished at 7.30pm. We managed to fit a 2-day programme into one long day. The group started at Karaponga reserve with a trip to the falls, the students then made amazing insect houses, did a bird, traps and pests’ session, food forest garden creation and completed an Environmental Challenge mini race. It was a great day and all the student’s parents and teachers had a great time.
- The Tarawera Special learning centre. It was great to connect with Jo Macintosh and do a day trip with the Tarawera students, the day included, games, traps and pests, food forest work. Jo is keen to bring her students up regularly like the Trident SEC group in 2021.
- James Street school: 5 classes from James street school have just visited the centre. It has been a busy but amazing week. We each class starting the day at Matata lagoon for an Environmental Scavenger hunt, followed by insect weta houses, traps pests and birds and for two of the older classes a visit to the Macintosh farm and into the Kokako block. We were rewarded with Popokotea and Toutouwai on both of these visits.
The end of the school term will see the last 4 of the Intermediate classes visit on the 26th Nov and the 4th Dec.
It has been so nice having the centre so busy. We finished the month with a wonderful get together of the Whakatane Kiwi trust, the Manawahe Eco trust and the Manawahe Kokako trust all meeting at the centre for a Christmas break up and a walk in the amazing Manawahe bush.
December and January are a little quiet, but term 1 next year is going to be really busy.
It has been an interesting year that has finished on a high note.
Project Coordinator’s Report
MET has received 20 new traps from the regional council and these will be used to replace worn out traps and to build new trap lines.
This month we have set up some new pest control lines on Herepuru road and on the bottom of McIvor road and these will involve both bait stations and traps. Bait stations are very effective in controlling rats and possums and the traps are a good support tool as they will target mustelids, rats hedgehogs and feral cats. Together they can provide good levels of control.
Our trap lines continue to be serviced by our fabulous volunteers however we are still short of 2 or 3 trappers so if a walk in the outdoors checking traps is something you would like please contact MET.
We have completed our post baiting Rodent Monitor and there was just one rat print in 50 tunnels so a 2% rat index and zero mice. There were also a lot of insect marks which is a good sign. The experts tell us that the rodent index needs to be 5% or under for birds to be able to breed successfully so we are well under that.
A big thank you to our volunteers who helped out with the monitor.
I have had an on-site meeting with MKT and Dale Williams from the Regional Council to try and put together a wallaby control programme for next year. We are now waiting for a response from the council as to the level of support they are going to provide. However I think it is very likely that we will be doing some significant wallaby control in the Cell Tower block and in the main Kokako area.