Wilding tree working bee 2016

Members of the Wilding pine working bee moved across the tops at Cattle Flat station, pulling out seedlings.

On Saturday ( 19 March) 13 people spent the day admiring some of the best views in Southland while they cleared 10 hectares of wilding trees, organiser of the event, Environment Southland Senior Biosecurity officer Randall Milne said.

"The Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust, in conjunction with Environment Southland held the wilding tree work day on Cattle Flat Station this time," he said. " Cameron Young from Cattle Flat Station was there and spoke about life on the station and the importance of controlling wilding trees."

The group worked along the ridge of the Matuara Range which is a significant take off area for the seeds of any wilding trees which get to a seeding age. He said that every plant which is pulled out, especially before it produces seeds, helps prevent wilding trees becoming spread further.

 Over the previous weekend students from the Environmental Management degree course worked on the Keen property of Tomogalak, north of Balfour . Over that weekend they removed 3,100 pines from an area that had been cleared twice before over the past nine years.

Twelve people including their tutor Ross Ramsay not only worked hard but also all had a great time. "The wilding pines have grown from seeds released from trees planted on Mid Dome for preventing erosion there," Milne said. " This working bee by the students added to the efforts of the day's work organised by ES last Saturday."

 Both working bees helped the Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust achieve its aims of eradicating the wilding pines which are causing so much havoc, especially to the west of Mid Dome.

The Mid Dome Trust holds two wilding tree work days each year and anyone interested in helping can contact Randall Milne at Environment Southland (Phone 03 2115115, or Email Randall.Milne@es.govt.nz)

Film Reel Life remembers Real Life

Nga Taonga , Jane Paul, Wallace Drummond, Craig Drummond, Pouhere Taonga , Jonathan Howard and Hannah Drummond at thefilm screenings held at Drummond's historic woolshed at Five Rivers  17 February.

The rain pattering on the roof along with the odd leak, the smell of damp wool, the dimly lit woolshed  and about 80 mainly rural people in farming attire, all created a real life atmosphere for a film series of excerpts from historic footage as part of the Travelling Film Show at Drummond's woolshed last Wednesday night.

Nga Taonga Sound and Vision along with Heritage  New Zealand, Pouhere Taonga brought the programme to four venues in the South Island, including Five Rivers' woolshed. Wallace Drummond explained that the Five Rivers run was taken up in 1857 with the woolshed built soon after and restored by him about three years ago.

Heritage New Zealand, Pouhere Taonga Otago/ Southland Area Manager, Jonathan Howard said with the best turn out to date, the fantastic significant historic agricultural venue and  the partnership with the Drummond family, it meant people would remember the event, the venue and hospitality for years to come.

"People can see the effort the Drummonds have gone to, to preserve and maintain the woolshed and homestead," he said. " Nga Taonga and Heritage NZ both want to tell stories, honour heritage and use some of Nga Taonga's large collection of about 7000 titles to do this."

Memories were evoked by excerpts covering old methods of sheep dipping, blade shearing, mustering, sheep dog trials, wool and its uses, fruit growing in Central Otago and various methods of trying to eradicate rabbits with 1300 the largest number killed in one rabbit drive. The audience had a good chuckle at Footrot Flats and Fred Dagg musing over daylight saving. Southland featured with Invercargill A & P Show, packing and exporting frozen rabbit meat from Bluff alongside  Peter and Elsie Lyons from Alexandra explaining how they ran 21 shearing gangs.

Garston farmer Jenny Tayler said she found the atmosphere really built up to what was coming through being in an historic place related to agricultural production.

" It was all very nostalgic for me, covering aspects of farming I remembered from my childhood as well as from stories my father and grandfather told me ," she said." The supportive crowd appreciated the professional presentation, on a large screen with perfect sound, the fact they had brought it around to the country people and I hope they do it again."