Welcome to the Reserve Newsletter
Welcome to the second edition of our newsletter. We hope that through this six monthly newsletter we will be able to keep you in touch with the reserve’s progress and special events. Weather permitting, the Friends of the Reserve meet most Saturday mornings at the Reserve for planting and general site maintenance. You are most welcome to join us and partake in the activities. We also have the occasional “working bees” where a special effort is made to complete a particular project. Articles for future editions are most welcome.
Brian Wilsden - Editor
Our Chairman’s Report
The Millennium Reserve has come through the summer in good condition despite a long dry period that severely tested the plants in the dry areas such as the open mounds and the stony compacted areas. A good rainfall in mid-March has enabled some autumn planting to begin.
The shade house under the direction of Len Frances continues to produce quality native plants, some of which are available for sale to members (contact Len at 377 0273). Kaka Beak, Clianthus maximus, raised from seed in our shade house are now ready for planting. A recent article by Gareth Winter in the Times-Age stresses how this well liked plant has become a threatened species with only 150 plants recorded in the wild in 2005. The variety known as ‘Kaka King’, usually found in gardens, are all grown from cuttings stemming from one original East Cape variety. In order to maintain a good gene pool it is essential that plants are raised from seed. These germinate well in gardens but they do need plenty of sunlight and a well-worked and well-drained soil. There are 3 varieties available - the original pink Clianthus puniceus ‘Flamingo’, the red ‘Kaka King’ and the white flowered ‘White Heron’. Try growing them from seed at home - they have done well in our shade-house.
Bird life is encouragingly building as trees reach sufficient size for nesting and the production of blossom. Lacebark were smothered in small white flowers from mid-March to mid-April. Three recorded hatchings of pukeko chicks prove that despite roaming cats and the occasional free running dog, these ground nesting birds can survive. The number of pukeko in the reserve fluctuates as the birds can freely leave the area but there is usually a population of about 10 present most of the time.
George Bain - Chairman.