Only five clubbies rolled up to participate in the latest community tree planting. Selecting our preferred spades from the selection of brand new decent planting spades we headed down to the bank planting site, which is nestled between regenerating bush and a big stand of old Gum trees.
All the trees were laid out ready in place where they were to be planted. Quite a mixture of Flax, Caposma, Titoki, Kanuka and Manuka and a few Puriri. Surprisingly again, given it's the middle of winter, the ground was fairly dry, so no muddy, mucky feet and gear. Super rewarding planting in so many trees, in a short space of time, under 2 hours, and we were done and off for walkies.
We headed up towards the swimming pool complex to start the bush tracks at the top, and beetled our way through these nice, fairly quiet tracks chatting away happily as we walked. Once you get near the MTB/BMX tracks there's a boot station, quick scrub and we head into slightly more forest type environment, Tanekaha, Kauri, big Rewarewa and more. Also at the track end, another boot station, do our thing and head on a very brief road interlude to hook into Ridgewood Reserve. More very freshly made boardwalks and steps greet us, as we're happily gazing up at the massive, towering tree canopy of Puriri, Totara above us. They are impressively large. This gully is just magic, Tui zooming around everywhere, singing their hearts out and many Wood Pigeons. All enjoying the ample fodder here.
Popping out of the reserve a family out walking, one of their little girls comes running up excitedly to see where we'd been walking. Neat to see young ones, so keen on being out tramping.
A quick stop across the road at one of the historic Cemetaries, to enjoy the harbour views whilst we tuck into some lunch. This cemetary was really interesting and houses the well know Verran family of which one of the busy local roads is named after, amongst others.
As we started this theme, we stopped at the next cemetary along. Some of the history and stories in both of these is amazing. So many well known families dating back to 1896. A long time ago in NZ history, and when this general area would have been covered in beautiful large Kauri before they were logged for housing.
Before heading back to the cars we wander back into another forest track, to see how some of the large Kauri are doing. Reaching the gate, we respectfully look through the fencing, if not a little sad, as there is more resin oozing out of some of the large Kauri the council is trying to protect here with the track closure past the fences. Here we had an impromptu discussion about Kauri dieback and the theories and what's happening currently to try and halt it spreading. All the more valuable when you can see trees looking reasonably badly effected.
Another amazing day out with the club, with the very satisfying feeling of having given back to the community and environment and having chatted lots of the other tree planters.