A large green and purple spiky imposter was seen lurking in Kingswood Bush, a small remnant of native forest near Invercargill recently. The imposter, identified as the Weedbusters rogue mascot “Woody Weed” caused a stir when he strolled through the reserve followed by a mob of enthusiastic children whole weedbusting knowledge left him and his weedy cousins shaking in their roots.
About 20 locals joined DOC and Environment Southland at the reserve for the first Woodlands Weedbusters workday.
The work day was advertised in the school and community newsletters and on the local radio station, and also had a mention at the Waimumu farm field days held in February. DOC staff visited the local school with Woody Weed before the event and engaged in a lengthy Q&A session, the kids astounding us with their great (mostly correct) answers and their extensive knowledge of ragwort removal methods!
Our aim for the first workday was to education children and adults about the weeds in their reserve and to get the community passionate and motivated to beautify it. Keith Crothers, Southland Weedbusters Coordinator began the day by talking about Weedbusters and then the volunteers were joined on a bush walk by Woody and his good mate, Environment Southland mascot Bruce. C. Gull. Several fun games and a BBQ followed and after a safety briefing the serious work began. Children worked in groups with an adult and we found that Chilean flame creeper was easy for them to identify and pull out. Adults had the task of painting Vigilant gel on the numerous sycamore trees.
The day went well and another is planned soon.