Funds to help tackle ‘old man’s beard’
A society which formed late last year to look after Peel Forest Reserve is thrilled to have received more than $3000 from the Mid and South Canterbury Community Trust.
The trust gave the Project Peel Society a grant of $3230 towards weed control, which will be used to tackle old man’s beard and embothrium - Chilean flame flower - in Dennistoun Bush.
Working in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, the society would hire professional weed controllers to trace the roots of the creepers and bring them under control.
Rather than using spray, they would cut the creepers and then paste them with herbicide.
Committee member Bruce Allan said the society was also looking at pest control, but initially it would focus on weeds and the ‘‘visual impact’’ they created in that part of the forest reserve.
‘‘Old man’s beard is an issue there, more so than in the rest of the reserve.’’
Eventually the society was still keen to get motion-detecting cameras to keep a record of predators in the area - the focus would be on controlling stoats, rats, and possums, and longerterm deer and pigs would be a priority.
‘‘We emphasise that we are working alongside DOC,’’ Allan said.
On October 8 a public launch of the group would be held, and people would have the chance to walk through the area of bush the society was looking at.
The committee was made up of 10 people, but other volunteers were involved as well.
‘‘We are still just getting our numbers up. About 100 people have pledged their support.’’
Allan said the society also received donations from other places, notably from the Sintenie family.
Catherine Sintenie’s family requested donations go towards protecting wildlife at her funeral, and the money went to the society.
‘‘[Catherine] was the advocate for getting the community involved in doing something about restoring the wonderful reserve,’’ Allan said.
Project Peel Society members, from left, Bruce Allan, Hilary Iles, Calvin McKechnie inspect the flora and fauna.