Gully Profile

A Gully Restoration Project

Article submitted by Wayne Bennett of:
Gardens are a lot of fun and an indulgence. In a garden we choose the plants we like the look of and modify the ground to suit the plants. We cultivate the soil, add fertilizer, water from time to time, even drainage some times. We trim, prune and weed. We selectively breed plants for appearance then spray the heck out of them when they have no resistance to bugs and fungi. Plants stay in the garden until the fashions change, they get too big or they die. Then we go through the whole thing again.

After the talk I did at last Saturday's restoration Day, someone said to me that during the talk "the penny dropped" when I asked them what made the point? they suddenly realized that they had been thinking of plants as objects without really considering how they change over time, affect the plants around them and how they reproduce.

When restoring natural areas we think of natural patterns and processes. Rather than modify the site to suit a plant we choose the plants to suit the site. Poor soil is your friend, it gives the opportunity and a competitive advantage to plants which might not compete well in good conditions. Natural areas change over time, with fast growing, exposure tolerant species colonizing open areas, but as soon as they do they change the environment so that shade tolerant species slower to grow and perhaps not so tolerant of exposure gain an advantage. A succession of plant communities follows until a flood, fire or windfall completes the cycle.

Ecological restoration needs a whole lot more understanding of how natural systems work but that means that a walk in the bush gradually becomes so much more interesting as we recognize what is happening.


Rat in a birds nest

Pest Control

To get a successful re-introduction of native fauna (animals) rat, hedgehog, possum, ferret, stoat and weasel numbers would have to be controlled.

After a discussion with the Department of Conservation a summary is as follows:

Ship rat in
fantail nest
Start control July to reduce numbers by October 1st - bird breeding season.

November there is usually a number increase/spike.

Survey the area into a maximum size of a 75metre square grid. One bait / trap station per grid.

DOC can supply a spreadsheet to record a track monitoring system.

Recommended "mini-philproof" bait stations.

This would cover possum & rat poisoning from the same station.

Recommended to use the second general coagulant poison Brodifacoum.

Brodifacoum is marketed under several names, one is Pestoff

Poison baits available at rural retailers. e.g. Wrightsons or RD1.


A dedicated team would be required to research and implement a trapping / poisoning program.

Useful Links

Community Planting Hamilton City Council

Ecological Restoration in Hamilton City, New Zealand

Waiwhakareke Lake Also known as Horse Shoe Lake by Hamilton Zoo.

Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group - Wayne Bennett's site specialising in the sale of eco sourced native plants



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