The past month has kept me pretty busy. Between Segway tours I’ve been working on a Jobs for Nature project. Originally joining the programme last winter, we worked through a number on community projects. We cleared scrub, broom and trees from Tuckers Beach Reserve. Gorse was cleared and the walking path opened up around Pigeon Island. The team spread mulch and planted native trees in Jardine Park and much more.
This year the focus is all on Tuckers Beach. It’s a breading area for the Banded Dotterel, Terns and the Black-billed Gull which are all endangered or threatened birds. We’ve been putting in the hard mahi (work) to clear the riverbed for the ground nesting birds return in Spring.
We’ve wielded mattocks, forks and a variety of hoes into the riverside reserve in an effort to open things up for the birds. Tools have been broken, backs and muscles left sore, but the team, which I am team leader for, have accomplished a lot. At the same time, we’ve really opened things up for anyone enjoying a leisurely walk through the reserve, just not too close to the breading ground come Spring.
Work will be winding down soon as Winter really sets in which will give me plenty of time to focus on all my great customers coming for the July school holidays and beyond. The project will start up again in August with a focus of opening things up more for people to enjoy including planting lots of natives and opening up the paths more.
This project is part of the Jobs for Nature programme managed by the Department of Conservation. The NZ government made this possible as part of the Covid 19 recovery package. It’s aim was to benefit the environment, people and the regions. We’ve been working closely with a local ecologist, Dawn. She knows the area like the back of her hand and has helped us make the best impact we can.