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Trip Report - Woodburn Drive Reserve, Takapu Valley, Wellington

Trip Report – 1 October 2011:   Woodburn Drive Reserve, Takapu Valley, Wellington

Woodburn Mamuku
Mamaku.   Photo: Richard Herbert
Eight BotSoccers spent four hours compiling a plant list for this little-known forest.   The irregularly shaped scenic reserve is on an escarpment on the true right of the valley.   It has a south-east aspect and covers c. 16.4 hectares.   In the recent WCC reserve reclassification it was classified Scenic B under the Reserves Act 1977.

Entering from the top of the reserve and following an former farm road, we walked down valley above a true right tributary of Takapu Stream, then above the main stem of Takapu Stream, to ford it just upstream of the industrial area.

The vegetation ranges from regenerating native forest to impressive stands of large old emergent tawa, Beilschmiedia tawa, with some emergent rewarewa, Knightia excelsa.   Tree fuchsia, Fuchsia excorticata, and mamaku, Cyathea medullaris, are prominent components, with the latter damaged by snow in August.

Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and the Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves (FoTBR) are working together to control pest animals and pest plants.   Possum baiting began in October 2006.   In December 2005, FoTBR removed the worst of the weeds – old man’s beard and Himalayan honeysuckle.   Mustelid traps were set up in 2010.   In the winters of 2008, 2009, and 2010, FoTBR planted 500 WCC-supplied native plants (appropriate to the area and eco-sourced) in pastureland to revegetate the western boundary of the reserve.   This year the 500 WCC-supplied plants were planted on the south end of the reserve.   FoTBR are planning a loop track up slope from the existing track.

The land bordering the bush is designated rural, but has recently been developed as lifestyle blocks.   A stand of old pines borders the north end of the reserve.

We noted Pseudopanax hybrids invading parts of the reserve.   We saw Griselinia lucida, puka, growing on a low dry bank with Asplenium oblongifolium, and two large displays of native white clematis, Clematis paniculata in flower.   We were intrigued by two old intertwined candelabra tawa trees, and impressed to see kereru and hear korimako / bellbirds.

Participants :   Barbara Clark, Rae Collins, Bryan Halliday, Margaret Herbert (leader / scribe), Richard Herbert (deputy-leader), Chris Horne, Priscilla Isaacs, Barbara Mitcalfe.

Woodburn Candelabra tawa
Candelabra tawa.   Photo: Richard Herbert


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