Kaniere School, Westland
After visiting Franz Josef Glacier School the day before, our Westland weeds roadshow finished at Kaniere School where we visited Jenny Barrow's Y4–5 class of 25 students during 19–20th October 2016.
On our first afternoon with the school, we held our inside activities programme which fully engaged the students, who were all very keen.
During the following morning, Murray Dawson, Robinne Weiss, teacher Jenny Barrow and several parent helpers supervised the students for a field trip around the edge of the Kaniere Tailings, located immediately behind the school.
After we finished our visit, the school nominated their Y5 student Sam to attend our two-day education programme at Landcare Research in Lincoln.
- Also see teacher Jenny Barrow's school blog on our visit.
- In August 2017, Kaniere School visited us at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research to learn more about weeds, biocontrol, the Allan Herbarium and the national harakeke (flax) collection.
What were some of the plants that we found?
Because this area had been highly disturbed through the past activities of gold mining, and was probably cleared of all native vegetation at some stage, it provided ideal conditions for the invasion of weeds.
Sure enough, large bushes of Franchet's cotoneaster (Cotoneaster franchetii) were dominating the tailings and there was also abundant butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii), Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) and tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum).
Other environmental weeds were common, including:
- blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
- crack willow (Salix × fragilis)
- European holly (Ilex aquifolium)
- gorse (Ulex europaeus)
- purple foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
- Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)
- wild brassica.
We also saw some well-established sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and English oak (Quercus robur) trees, which must have been originally planted. These specimen trees were producing seedlings by the thousands. This is a very weedy site!
The few native shrubs we noticed included:
- kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticata)
- leather-leaf fern (Pyrrosia eleagnifolia)
- pate (Schefflera digitata)
- pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia australis)
- wineberry (Aristotelia serrata).