On Saturday 18th October 18 people met at “Kusalo’s” house at Schooner
Bay to learn about weeds. We learnt about the weeds that D.o.C and ARC are
targeting for removal from Great Barrier Island and we learnt about the
unlisted ones that we all have in our own gardens that have the
potential to become pests. There were displays lent to us by
“Weedbusters” and pamphlets and books as give-a- ways so we could go
home and identify the weeds in our gardens.
“Kusalo’s house is an example of an unoccupied house where a weed
eradication programme has started with the kind support of the
Biodiversity Condition Fund. Peter Edmonds and Ben Hauraki have almost
completely removed a large area of Jasmine, climbing rose, and
Plectanthus. There are still large areas of Cotoneaster to remove and
the funding will allow them to come back to the area in the next two
years to go over the area and help to keep on top of the problem.
George Wilson, Weed ranger from D.o.C showed examples of some of the
really nasty ones that we have on Great Barrier Island: Khahili Ginger,
Smilax, Tobacco plant, and Woolly nightshade. Fenella Christian talked
about the history of the Schooner Bay land and how many of the plants
that have become weeds there were innocently brought onto the property
as a means of introducing colour into the gardens. She also spoke about
the difficulties of disposing of much of the plant rubbish when land is
isolated from rubbish dumps etc and how the areas where the disposal of
weeds happens can become problems in themselves.
After the talks and a sumptuous lunch, everyone walked to down the hill
to Fenella Christian and Peter Edmonds house. The garden is being
managed but has the potential to get away from them if they don’t keep
on top of the weeds. We all then walked down to another house on the
property that is unoccupied and where no weed eradication has started.
Jasmine, Loquat, Cotoneaster, Agapanthus and many more common weeds are
on the verge of becoming impossible to eradicate. They balance on the
edge of a huge cliff and if not contained soon will be very difficult to
eradicate. It was a good example of why we all need to be aware of what
we put into our gardens and how quickly weeds can take over when we move
Finally before wending our way back up the hill to our respective cars
we watched the baby shags in the shag colony at the bottom of the
property to remind ourselves why we live here and what precious things
we have to preserve.