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Trip Report - Breaker Bay

Trip Report – 1 April 2011:   Breaker Bay

Frances gave everyone a site guide which included a base species list (developed from other Wellington south coast sites), and an aerial photograph of Breaker Bay and south Seatoun.   This gave us our bearings and also showed public land ownership and blue water rights around Point Dorset.

Unsurprisingly, progress was slow as we did a thorough search of the plant community below Breaker Bay Rd, a blend of native and adventive species.   Long-leaved poa, Poa anceps, and leafless sedge, Ficinia nodosa, are common here.   After a stop for a cuppa on the rocks we moved around the bay, poking among the toe-slopes and peering up at the cliffs, all the while adding to our list.   Weed species from elsewhere in NZ, e.g. pohutukawa, karo, and Pseudopanax lessonii hybrids, are common here, and it was in such vegetation that we found Adiantum cunninghamii surviving, protected by the trees from southerly gales.

After lunch on convenient driftwood logs, and a respectable distance from other beach visitors, we found the tiny Colobanthus muelleri, in crevices in the greywacke cliffs, and the pest plants pig’s ear (Cotyledon orbiculata) and fairy crassula (Crassula multicava) also on the cliffs.

Wellington City Council is working on a draft management plan for the Point Dorset natural area.   We have provided WCC officers with a copy of our final plant list and hope that it will inform their decision-making.   You can have your say on the draft plan later in the year.   Check the WCC website for a copy of the draft plan.

Participants :   Barbara Clark, Rosemary Collier, Rae Collins, Gavin Dench, Frances Forsyth (leader), Chris Hopkins, Chris Horne, Rodney Lewington, Darea Sherratt, Sunita Singh, Julia Stace.

Frances Forsyth & Chris Horne


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