Pauatahanui Inlet residents are being good neighbours by protecting their adjacent conservation areas from weeds.
In a Weedbusters initiative, the Department of Conservation is working with residents adjoining Pauatahanui Conservation Areas to help them play their part in preventing the havoc caused by invasive weeds on the natural ecosystem.
Kapiti area programme manager/biodiversity threat Colin Giddy said many of New Zealand’s scenic natural areas were losing ground to the threat of introduced weeds.
“One objective of this initiative is to demonstrate to landowners the ease of destroying certain weeds and to show them the monetary and ecological costs weeds have on conservation areas.
“People play a huge part in the weed problem and solution”
DOC community relations programme manager Stacy Moore and her husband DOC science officer Peter Moore spent part of their Labour Day weekend visiting landowners adjacent to conservation areas. They met with people one-on-one to discuss the problems of weeds around the inlet and explain ways that they could control weeds in their own backyards. Each landowner was given a free Weedbusters pack containing the herbicide, Vigilant gel, gloves, Weedbusters fact sheets and an informational brochure which showed six of the key invasive weeds threatening the inlet’s conservation areas.
“The response from residents has been fantastic,” Stacy said.
“They are supportive of the Weedbusters programme and many said they would do some weeding in their gardens that afternoon and try the vigilant gel.”
The Department of Conservation is in its third year of an intensive weed control programme within and on the boundary of Pauatahanui Conservation Areas. So far DOC has gained excellent results in most of the major infestation sites, reducing weed densities by 95 percent. This complements work done by the Forest and Bird Management Committee who have put in countless hours of weeding around the conservation areas.
The Kapiti Area Office will also give Weedbusters packs to local residents around Papaitonga Conservation Area.