Lowry Road Wetland and Gully Restoration

Tītoki Landcare was engaged by a landowner in Bombay who was restoring 2.2 ha of wetland and gully embankments on their property for the purposes of an Environmental Lot subdivision.

Restoration Priorities

The landowner had an Ecological Management Plan produced in 2015 by an independent ecologist who had identified five restoration priorities:

  1. Completing stock-proof fencing around the restoration site
  2. Carry out an initial knock-down of main weed species
  3. Protect fish passage through a culvert at the downstream end of the restoration site
  4. Carry out enrichment plantings in areas where vegetation is sparse or dominated by rank grass
  5. Undertake weed and animal pest control on an ongoing basis
View of one arm of the gully from a neighbouring property

Tītoki’s assessment and recommendations

We were engaged by the landowner following the completion of the enrichment planting to assess whether the restoration work had met the requirements of the property’s management plan for the purposes of the Environmental Lot subdivision. Our assessment found:

  1. Native plants were abundant across the site, however, weeds remained common in many areas and abundant in a few areas. In particular, the wetland was, for the most part, dominated in grey willow but contained a rich understorey of native plants. Barberry, blackberry, Himalayan honeysuckle, and woolly nightshade were also common across the site.
  2. No predator control was being undertaken so introduced rats, stoats and possums were likely predating on native birds and their eggs and limiting their reproductive success.
Drill holes filled with Glyphosate 360 on willow trunks
Native ferns and tree regenerating underneath willows

We therefore recommended:

  1. An initial drilling and poisoning treatment of grey willows in the wetland, and then leave the dead trees standing in the wetland to continue providing habitat, shade, and substrate stabilisation.
  2. A secondary treatment of woolly nightshade, blackberry, barberry, and Himalayan honeysuckle across the site.
  3. Monitoring of mammalian predators to identify their presence and areas of high activity, followed by the establishment of an appropriate predator control programme.
  4. Ongoing weed and pest control.

Tītoki’s weed management and predator control

The landowner subsequently engaged us to undertake the weed and predator control work. We then had a team of 2-3 people spend eight days at the site over a three-week period undertaking weed management across the site, surveying for mammalian predators, and establishing a predator control programme.

We now have an arrangement with the landowner to visit the site once a month to continue with ongoing weed management and predator control.

The area treated for weeds (orange) and locations of bait stations (red spots) established by Tītoki staff
Native sedges and shrubs regenerating underneath grey willows

Other projects

Mangaonua Gully Weed Management

Matakinohi Reserve Ecological Rehabilitation

Kingsley Gully Ecological Restoration