The native trees and cover crops planted at the Te Hōnonga a Iwi Restoring Rosedale Park project site last spring are thriving.
The project’s regeneration expert, Matt Cummings from Untangled Landscapes, says there has been significant growth across the site over the spring and summer months and very low plant mortality, despite the recent adverse weather events that have impacted Auckland.
There’s also more insect life evident at the site, which is an early sign that the soil is regenerating, Matt says.
“I’m stoked we are seeing bees, butterflies, lacewings and parasitic wasps. It’s evidence of the increased microbes in the soil, which feed the insects.”
The insects do an important job by moving the microbes around the site, helping to deal with disease and pests and acting as a food source for birds.
Increasing bird life at the site is beneficial as birds help to spread seeds.
Matt is also pleased to see the cover crops flourishing as it means there are very few weeds coming through, decreasing the maintenance volunteers will be required to do at the site.
When the site was cleared, the team removed Japanese honeysuckle and Elaeagnus Ebbingei, both of which can smother new trees, and blackberry brambles, which are very unpleasant to deal with.
“But they haven’t come back. The cover crops have taken over,” Matt says.
It means volunteer hours could be reallocated to clearing an adjacent area of the park and expanding the restoration site.
Project co-ordinator Nicky Shave, from the North Harbour Hockey Association (NHHA), says the next step will be to discuss any potential expansion of the site with the wider restoration stakeholders.