Carbon forest grows by over 800 trees!

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One of the key goals of the Rameka Carbon Forest is to combat climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide. The best tool we have available to us for long-term carbon sequestration is a tree. They self replicate and live for a long time; some of the ones we planted live up to 700 years! So, on the 20-21 August 2016 and the following weeks we planted over 800 trees.

Thank you to everyone that came out to help! We had planters from Golden Bay, Wellington and Nelson. Then, after we left DOC donated 70 more red beech trees and 50 more rata that were planted by Cath Kelly, Peggy Leyland, and Matt.

The trees planted this year were fundraised by Ginny Wood as part of her epic cycle ride, The Tour Aotearoa! These were no ordinary trees; many were high quality trees with several years of growth to give them a head start to beat out the harsh grass, wind, and possible animal browsing. Of the 800+ trees there were pioneers species such as kohuhu, wineberry, akeake, tarata, mahoe, and five finger that will shade out grass and weeds and provide shelter for the climax species. No planting is complete without getting some climax species like rimu, miro, totara, and rata in the ground. We also planted beech, kaka beak, flax, hinau, and grisilinia to increase the biodiversity and provide food and shelter for native wildlife.

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The next big project is the bridge over Rameka Creek. We are still fundraising on Give-a-Little, which closes 1 November.

 

Uncovering the Path

With only a few formal work parties fantastic progress has been made in the last 10 months uncovering a bit of Golden Bay history.

Snaking up the west facing slopes of the land added to Project Rameka late in 2015, the Historic Rameka Track weaves its way between limestone outcrops and tomos.

Surveyed and built in the 1850s as an alternative route for droving stock to and from the Bay the historic track has laid hidden for a number of decades by a flourishing cover of regenerating native forest and pines.

With a walker and biker friendly gradient of 1:40 we are very keen to finish uncovering this path to both expand access for pest control and recreational opportunities in Project Rameka.

Armed with chain saws and pruning saws over 1000m of the track has already been opened up, spearheaded by Martin Langley, our neighbours Peter and Jim Sim and volunteers such as Phil Castle from Motupipi Hill.

The long term plan is to have this track opened up as a formal cycleway linked to the top of The Odyssey track.

Help us make it happen – keep an eye out for workparties here

Jonathan Kennett, Paul Bruce and Sonja Mitchell tidying up one of many switchbacks
Jonathan Kennett, Paul Bruce and Sonja Mitchell tidying up one of many switchbacks

Gory business time

Trapping

Many thanks to Fil and Albie Burgers, Paul Kilgour and Andrew McLellan for their great work on the trap line. Trapping rats and stoats is a matter of survival for the native birds at Rameka. Over the last 12 months, they have caught 19 stoats and 30 rats.

This has provided a much better environment for birds, and we can now confirm that there is a family of weka resident at Project Rameka!

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Matt the hunter is stalked by a resident weka.

General Pest Control

If you’ve been wondering why you hardly ever see a possum at Project Rameka anymore, that is because Matt Shoult fills possum bait stations twice a year. The native plant and animal species are really thriving as a result. The growth is phenomenal.

Matt has also teamed up with Project Devine to wipe out some huge infestations of banana passionfruit on the new block of land. It’s scary how much forest area those vines can smother.

Matt has also been fast to react to reports of wild goats and pigs, keeping numbers as low as realistically possible. (15 and 19 down respectively)  Thanks Matt.

Fundraising for a bridge over Rameka Creek

We are currently fundraising to build a 12-metre bridge across Rameka Creek at the bottom of Great Expectations. This will enable the track to be safely used all year round and will also provide an emergency escape route for local residents.

Crossing Rameka Creek in flood.

The total cost of the bridge is calculated at $15,600, and so far we have raised $8,100.

Before we can build the bridge we will need to raise another $7,500.

You can make a donation very simply by:

If you have any ideas about ways to progress the bridge or anything else on the project, we’d love to hear from you. Email us any time at: projectrameka@kennett.co.nz

 

Happy trails!

Jonathan Kennett

Project Rameka Chair

Carbon in – Oxygen out

With the addition of the new land, Project Rameka is now absorbing 3.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide every day. The total sequestered since the project began in 2008 is approaching 7000 tonnes.

To put that into a personal perspective, the average New Zealander has a carbon footprint of 18 tonnes emitted per annum. Of course, you are not average New Zealanders!

Climate Snapshot

While the scientific reports on climate change remain very serious, since the Paris Climate Talks in December last year there has been a political shift around the globe.

Greenhouse gas levels have risen to record levels and so have global temperatures. 2015 temperatures shot past the record levels of 2014, and now, with the help of El Niño, 2016 is set to be hotter again. Droughts, heatwaves and storms are impacting on food and water security as well as having a massive range of other environmental effects. Just as some countries are particularly unlucky (right now, Zambia, New Mexico, and Australia to name a few), others are very lucky. Perhaps at the top of the latter list is New Zealand, which will be one of the last countries this century to experience an average temperature increase over the notable 2-degree limit.

Possibly that is one reason why New Zealand continues to lag behind most other countries when it comes to introducing effective policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But we live in a globalised world, and change, both of the climate and our government’s policies, can only lag so far. Meanwhile, at Project Rameka we will continue to Make Good Shit Happen!

Trees

Last August, we had another great tree planting week, with 600 native species planted in their new homes. These include northern rata from DOC as well as lemonwood, kohuhu, beech, kaka beak, rimu and miro. It’s great to report that these trees are flourishing at Project Rameka!

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Come along and join us for the 2016 tree planting. You would be most welcome.

We will be meeting at 10am on the 20 and 21 August at the top entrance to Project Rameka, which is on Rameka Creek Road, approximately 10 km from Takaka township.