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Trip Report - Cannon Point Walkway

Trip Report – 2.3.2013:   Cannon Point Walkway, Upper Hutt

In ideal conditions, we spent about five hours botanising in regenerating forest, from the Bridge Road, Birchville, end of the track, to the historic, decommissioned, Birchville Dam, and back.   We listed about ninety species of native plants in this tributary valley of the Hutt River, including four tree ferns:   mamaku, ponga, wheki and wheki-ponga, plus an emergent rimu and a northern rata, and some young kahikatea.   We were particularly impressed at a Huperzia varia hanging clubmoss, dangling from its host tree, directly over the track.   In addition, we enjoyed hearing a NZ falcon / karearea, a bellbird / korimako and whitehead / popokotea.

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), which manages Akatarawa Forest, including the walkway, maintains possum bait stations in the valley.   We listed over thirty species of weeds, e.g. barberry, broom, Himalaya honeysuckle, blackberry, gorse, old man’s beard, tall fescue, montbretia, and hedge stachys.

As a supplementary treat on the way home, three of us turned off SH2 c. 100 m south of Moonshine Bridge, onto a dirt road near the Hutt River bank, then drove 1 km along the road to see the seventeen Ileostylus micranthus small-flowered mistletoe, on a group of tree lucerne.

Participants :   Ian Goodwin, Jill Goodwin, Anthony Hill, Bryan Halliday, Chris Horne (leader/scribe), Mick Parsons, Annabel Plowden, Nick Saville, Irene Walshe.


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