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Reviewing the Two Walkways

Following various flooding events in Cockle Bay local resident Barry Wood felt that reinstatement of the Windross and Pa Walkways would help reduce the amount of erosion and sediment moving into Cockle Bay while also restoring the native plantings alongside both Walkways. He began work in 2020  and has been the Volunteer  Project Lead throughout. Barry has spent a considerable amount of time reviewing both Walkways with particular attention given to  any structural improvements needed as well as the selection of appropriate native plants. Barry is working alongside another local resident Matthew Brajkovich who has generously offered practical support and advice. Matthew is the Volunteer Project Lead for the Cockle Bay Domain Restoration Project so has a depth of knowledge about native plants and the Cockle Bay environment which is invaluable. ​

Julie Mitchell, Secretary of the CBRRA, is also working alongside Barry with a focus on native plant selection as well as their sourcing, growing and appropriate placement on the two Walkways. Barrry and Julie worked on an application for funding to the Howick Local Board (HLB) as part of the 22/23 Local Grants Application (South) process. They were thrilled to be successful with their application. Members of the HLB, led by Chair Damian Light, along with the Committee of the CBRRA, visited both Walkways to review progress to date and plans going forward. Many thanks to the members of the HLB, who you can see in the image below, for their positive feedback and suggestions made during the visit. ​

Preparation of the Two Walkways for Native Plantings

Barry Wood with support from Matthew Brajkovich has been very busy clearing the lower part of the Windross Walkway and the length of Pa Walkway of pest plants in preparation for the planting of native plants to begin in April 2023. ​When Barry and Matthew were clearing the lower part of the Windross Walkway of very large privet and other pest plants they were delighted to discover that there were a number of tall nīkau present that had been hidden from view by the larger pest plants. The image below shows the large amount of pest plant material that they removed.

The photo below shows  part of the nīkau grove that was uncovered!

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      Structural Improvements That Will be                                Needed

There are a number of structural improvements which Barry has identified in consultation with Auckland Council including preventing further erosion in a section of the stream on the Windross Walkway and ideas around systems to improve native fish movement up and down the stream. 

As these projects get underway updates will be provided on the CBRRA's  Facebook page and this website so keep an eye out for these!

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section of the WIndross Walkway

Stream with erosion damage.

Movement of Native Fish in Our Waterways

Our waterways need to be carefully managed so native fish can access the habitats they need. These fish move within rivers and streams to and from the sea to complete their life cycles. Many of these species, like whitebait and eels, need to move between freshwater and the sea to complete their life cycles. Fish passage connects all the habitats that are necessary for freshwater fish to complete their life cycle. Disconnections between the water upstream and downstream of a structure can stop or slow down fish passage. This can be caused by culverts with a significant drop at the downstream end, extremely long structures like pipes, fast water flow through a structure and weirs that are too high for fish to navigate. As a result fish numbers can be reduced, or they may be completely lost from a stream. Some fish species are more affected by instream structures than others. For example, inanga are weak swimmers, whereas kōaro whitebait and baby eels can climb wet surfaces very effectively.

Barry Explains the Preparation and Building of a 'Fish Ladder' as Part of the Walkway Restoration Project

In the case of the Cockle Bay Walkway Restoration Project stream restoration is being carried out to assist native fish make their way up stream from the sea and to slow the velocity of water in heavy rain. This will also help prevent erosion of the stream banks. To do this we have placed rocks in the stream bed creating what is known as ‘ Fish Ladders’. These mini dams also provide deeper pools which stay cool and provide habitat for the fish. Suitable native plants are also being planted along the stream banks as part of the Restoration Project eg a native reed or jointed rush called oi oi.

The photos below the steps in the  preparation work and building of the 'Fish Ladder' in the Windross Walkway stream.

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The Introduction to Plant Pests (Weeds) Workshop-East

As part of their involvement in the Walkways Restoration Project CBRRA Committee members Julie Mitchell and Fiona Rankin attended The Introduction to Plant Pests (Weeds) Workshop-East led by Auckland Council’s Anna Baine, Community Programmes Ranger and Tabitha Becroft a consultant on the ecology of weed plants and their planned removal. The workshop was held in Macleans Park in Eastern Beach. This park showcases coastal, wetland and forest ecosystems close to one another. A range of topics was covered during the two-hour workshop: 1.Pest weed recognition. The group was shown a wide range of pest weeds including: climbing asparagus, nasturtium, pampas (easily confused with native toetoe), arum lily, banana passionfruit vine, gorse, Japanese honeysuckle, nut grass which can be mistaken for native umbrella sedge (the seed heads of the weed are green compared to the black seed heads of the native), Tradescantia and willow (crack). Time was also spent looking at two different privets; tree and ‘Chinese’ privet and an explanation given on how easy it is to confuse these two plants with native Coprosma. 2.Correct techniques for the practical control of different kinds of pest weeds including ‘rolling’ groundcover, the use of composting weed bags, digging up roots and snipping creeping vines at ground level without necessarily removing the remaining vine from higher in the native plant (as this may cause damage to the native). 3.The correct technique to cut and paint when applying glyphosphate herbicide such as Bamboo Buster gel including the consideration of weather conditions when doing so. 4.That thought be given to the order in which pest weeds be removed from an area for example this differs between wetland and forest environments. In the forest environment the emphasis should be on the removal of creeping vines, then trees and then ground cover. Whereas in a wetland environment removal would probably begin with the groundcover. 5.Acceptance that in any area removal of all pest weeds may not be practicable. It may be that control of a particular weed is limited to removing flower heads, seeds or keeping plant size to a minimum. 6.Awareness that you may not necessarily recognise a native plant and instead confuse it with a pest weed removing it by mistake! We were shown the native toatoa ( Haloragis erecta or fireweed) as an example of just such a plant. The iNaturalist app was recommended to everyone as a way to quickly get help to identify plants (pest or otherwise). 7.The use of Auckland Council (AC) GEO Maps to improve understanding of how AC categorises areas and plan your project work accordingly. It was noted that a Restoration Planning and Geo Mapping/GIS workshop is being held on December 7th to support this. Anna and Tabitha both emphasised the importance of volunteer groups working alongside AC staff including contractors. 8.A range of practical tools and support such as a Restoration Planning Template were described which are available to volunteer groups via AC local park rangers. 9.Health and safety when working in Council Parks. Making sure that all volunteer group members have been taken through the Health and Safety Plan. Remembering that if there is any doubt about safety then stop work and refer the activity on to AC staff. Many thanks to Anna and Tabitha for taking the Introduction to Plant Pests (Weeds) Workshop-East!


Overview of spread and variety of pest weed plants.

For more information on pest weeds and how to control them click the buttons below:


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