Road­side wildlife haven in city’s heart

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

A small patch along the foot­path of Rich­mond Rd has been buzzing with wildlife thanks to the ef­forts of a bunch of ‘‘berm bomb­ing’’ res­i­dents.

The berm-plant­ing move­ment was in­tro­duced to the Grey Lynn sub­urb by tran­si­tion town group Grey Lynn 2030 a few years ago as a way to cre­ate con­tin­u­ous ‘‘bio-cor­ri­dors’’ and en­cour­age com­mu­nity in­ter­ac­tion.

Green-fin­gered Grey Lynn res­i­dent Bar­bara Grace vol­un­teered her berm in 2010 when the group was scout­ing for peo­ple to get in­volved.

She has been main­tain­ing it ever since.

‘‘I’m quite happy to do it, I think of it as mine now and I’ve kind of for­got­ten it’s not.’’

A group got to­gether to help pre­pare the soil and it was soon filled with self­seed­ing flora like bor­age and swan plants to at­tract bees and but­ter­flies as well as rose­mary, thyme and pars­ley.

Peo­ple will stop by to pick seeds and herbs while chil­dren watch the but­ter­flies, she says.

Ms Grace would like to see more peo­ple plant out their berms.

‘‘It’s not just the plant­ing – it’s peo­ple get­ting out from be­hind their gates and re­claim­ing the space.

‘‘Peo­ple in­ter­act with it – I like that as­pect.’’

The group did not seek per­mis­sion from the coun­cil be­fore plant­ing be­gan but Ms Grace says she has not re­ceived any neg­a­tive feed­back. ‘‘As long as you look af­ter it and bear in mind sight lines so peo­ple can see buses and cars there shouldn’t be any prob­lems.’’

Work is un­der way along the foot­paths of a hand­ful of Grey Lynn streets to cre­ate sim­i­lar spa­ces, Grey Lynn 2030 com­mit­tee mem­ber Suzanne Ken­drick says.

Ms Ken­drick is now pre­par­ing her own berm for plant­ing.

Photo: JESS LEE

Berm bomb: Green-fin­gered Grey Lynn res­i­dent Bar­bara Grace would like to see more peo­ple plant out their berm with herbs and plants like the one in front of her home.

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