Conservation Vacation

Christmas is always a busy time in Golden Bay, and Project Rameka was no exception. Rather than laze around on the beach, several Wellingtonians based themselves at the Lorax Lair and worked away on tracks, traps and trees. They were joined by several local stalwarts on the 21st for a cracker BBQ and treasure hunt. It was a great opportunity for everyone to catch up and find out what has been happening.

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The first obvious thing was that the verandah was finished. It rained a few times over Christmas and the extra shelter made a big difference. Thanks to Andy Cole for leading that project and doing such a creative job, and also thanks to Simon and Sarah for paying for the materials.

The second obvious thing, related to the rain, was that the trees are growing incredibly well and that means an estimated 100 tonnes of CO2 have been drawn out of the atmosphere by Project Rameka since it began in April 2008. It also meant there has been, was, and will be lots of weeding to do to stop the native seedlings being swamped. Thanks to those that have been pulling out the grass from around the small trees.

Also obvious was the damage done to both tracks and naturally regenerating seedlings under the pines by wild pigs. Luckily Rameka resident Reagan and local legend Matt have shot ten of them in the last fortnight! Well done guys.

Another pest which is not so obvious is the natural killer, Mr Stoat. With funds from Greg Thurlow and Andrew McLellan we now have 24 stoat traps, and Andrew spent some of his holidays building boxes and setting them up around the block.

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Access for recreation and conservation is via the ever expanding track network. The good folks at the Quiet Revolution have been organising work parties on Wednesday nights and the main track has progressed well. Jonathan and Bronnie managed to mark and partially dig another 200 metres over Christmas and Ricky and Patrick from Takaka have, according to rumours, been doing some awesome work of late. Can’t wait to see it! According to local mountain biker Seamus it rides fast and smooth.

Another good job was completed at the Lorax Lair. With funds from Kate and Jo, and spare parts from Martin, we were able to put up guttering and spouting to collect rain water into a 200 litre tank. That gives us a two water supplies, so we shouldn’t run out now. Thanks to Martin, who has bought a lot of water up to the Lorax Lair over the last 8 months.

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Also thanks to Anne-Marie, Jock Flemming and others who have donated money or time to the project. It really does run on the smell of an oily rag and so your contributions are very effective towards achieving enhanced conservation and recreation in the Rameka Valley.

Simon Johnson, a Rameka Trustee, has also been busy. He recently registered the Rameka Trust with the Emissions Unit Register (Ministry of Economic Development). This is the first step towards carbon trading, but as the new government has shelved the ETS things are a little up in the air. Hopefully our chosen representatives will get their heads around Climate Change soon and progress can be made, both at Rameka and around the country.

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