Kia ora trappers!
Term one is already over and we’re back in school holiday mode. It’s a great time to be checking and setting traps, and rebaiting stations. Use the opportunity to get the next generation involved and teach them about safe handling of pest control equipment, and have that conversation about why we do it.
It’s not about killing things. Well, maybe a little. But it’s about restoring balance to the ecosystems around us. At the moment things are not in balance. It’s about balancing life with death, so maybe you can plant some trees as well as doing pest control.
As we head into the cooler months and want to rug up, so do the rats. We’re already getting reports of them moving around and into sheds and buildings as they try to find warm, dry spaces… And inevitably they’re finding their way into strategically placed bait stations and traps too!
Friends of Te Wairoa have been working hard with landowners to get pests in our area under control, and we’re making some significant headway! We currently have 20% of landowners in the Wairoa River catchment area trapping and on our database. This is an outstanding achievement, and by next year we hope to have that up to 25% – a quarter of all properties, in the space of just four years; what an achievement that would be!
We had two great days at the Ararimu Hall and the Hūnua Market Day. Ararimu, new faces are still coming to us in force which is awesome to see ! Hūnua, you’re slowing down in momentum with new faces. We know there are already a lot of you doing pest control, but maybe you can broach the subject with your neighbours and send them our way to get a bit of help.
Photo: Te Ara Hikoi staff Analisa and Te Aka, assisting Julia and Willow at the Hunua Market Day. Photo taken by Poppa G’s Pictures
We have come to realise Clevedon is significantly under-represented on our maps, particularly in the village, so we’re trying a new tactic. We invite you to the Clevedon District Centre on Tuesday 23rd May between 4.30pm and 6.30pm to chat and pick up any gear you need to get you started – please also pick up some gear if you own a business or storefront on the main street!
Come and see us for your pest control materials and top-ups, as well as planting advice and other topics relating to environmental restoration on your property. Promise we’re a fun and approachable bunch! Tell your neighbours, and we’ll see you there.
Ardmore Bait and Trap Day on Sunday 30th April. Ardmore School, drop in between 9am – 12pm.
Community Nursery Volunteer Days at the nursery behind the Clevedon Co-op from 8.30am on 20th April, 18th May and 15th June. All welcome to volunteer and/or purchase plants.
Clevedon Evening Bait and Trap Day on Tuesday 23rd May at the Clevedon District Centre. Drop in between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Clevedon Bait and Trap Day on Sunday 18th June at the Clevedon District Centre. Drop in between 9am and 12pm.
There are other workshops in the pipeline – watch this space and we’ll advertise as soon as we have dates and locations sorted.
Another massive thankyou to those who are regularly reporting catch tallies via the trap.nz app and email. It really helps me to efficiently keep track of what’s happening out there. If you haven’t been in touch for a while, please either sign up to trap.nz and join the Friends of Te Wairoa project, or email me with your trap catches since 1 July 2022. I have begun emailing all members who I have not yet heard from, which is quite a labour-intensive process! It would be really helpful for you to check in with me before then, even if you haven’t caught anything or have been too busy to check – it’s okay to have a break if you need to focus your attentions elsewhere for a while.
As a reminder, if pest control is getting on top of you and you’re finding it hard to keep up, or struggling with the scale of it on your property, there is help out there which you can access for free. Te Ara Hīkoi have been lucky enough to receive a significant amount of funding via the Department of Conservation’s Jobs For Nature programme. With this money, local rangatahi have been recruited to aid landowners in their pest control efforts across the Franklin area. If you would like to enquire as to whether your property may be a candidate for support, please email the programme manager Colin Pukeiti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we’d like to thank you all for your ongoing support of the mahi we do. It’s what keeps that ball rolling forward.
Lenny van Heugten
Pest Control Co-ordinator
Friends of Te Wairoa