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Tararua Tramping Club

Conservation Friends Of Baring Head 2015

Friends of Baring Head

Dear wonderful volunteers

We have now completed a programme of events for the year. I hope there will be something of interest to you, and we see you all at some point during the year. What we can achieve is very much dependent on how many volunteers are able to come to these events, so every person counts.

The next event is tomorrow, when we have a corporate group doing work on the south coast. I’ll be going out to help the rangers. Hopefully by the end of the day we’ll have all the rubbish cleared off the beach and a lot more poppies out. I’ll take the chance to do a walk through of Fitzroy Bay and remove any new flowering plants. If you would like to join us, you would be very welcome. Should be a lovely day on the beach. Mark is picking me up at Woburn station at 8.30, and can probably fit in another person if you need a ride out.

Regards Paula Warren For the trustees

Dear volunteers

Sunday is our next event. Unless it rains heavily before then, we will be watering and mulching last year’s plantings. We’ve done a lot of mulching already, using oxygen weed out of the river. That not only mulches and feeds our plants, but also removes some unwanted nutrients and weed out of the river. And avoids any risk of introducing new pests with mulch brought from outside the project.

If a miracle happens and there is a downpour before then, we will just mulch. But otherwise we’ll pump up some water to ensure that the mulch is over wet ground. So come prepared for playing with water and wet weed. When I was removing weed on Saturday, the river was very warm, so you might want to pack the togs.

Meet just past Khyber Pass at 10am. Keep an eye out for the ranger’s car, and either park next to that or at the coastal carpark. If you know you can come, please let Mark know – mark [period] mcalpine [snail] gw [period] govt [period] nz. If anyone needs a ride out they can contact Paula and she will see if she can find them one. If you need to ring someone on the day, contact Paula 021 101 4824, or Mark 027 467 3076.

We are just finalizing the plan for the rest of the year. That should be out next week.

See you all Sunday


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Earlier Posts

Dear Baring Head supporter

Next Baring Head planting day is Sunday 2 August. We hope to get them all in, but will be often working in stony ground, so will need a lot of help.

We’ve done nearly 2000 plants so far this winter, so with this last burst of effort we’ll have made a huge difference.

We'll start at 10am. Just drive down Coast Road past the carpark by the bridge, and park on the edge of the road near Khyber Pass. You'll see the ranger's vehicle there.

If there isn't room where he is parked, continue down to the coastal carpark and either park there and walk back, or turn around there and park on the edge of the road where there is a wide shoulder a few hundred meters before the corner.

If you can come, please let Mark McApline know on Mark McAlpine -> mailto:mark [period] mcalpine [snail] gw [period] govt [period] nz If you need transport, let him know and we'll see if we can sort something out. If you need more information on the day, ring Paula (before 9am) on 021 101 4824.

Kind regards

Paul Hughes for the Friends Of Baring Head Trustees

Dear Baring Head supporters

First of all many thanks to all those people who came out last Sunday (21st June) and helped plant at Khyber Pass, Baring Head. It was a great effort, and the ranger reports that we got over 1000 natives planted. And the good news is that the site was not as exposed as the one we planted last year, and there were very few rocks. The weather was kind, the cake delicious, and the kids had a great time splashing in the puddles.

Our next planting will finish that site, so get in while we have a rock-less opportunity. We will then have some to go into the rocky knob at the following planting.

So come along on the 5th July (10am onwards) at Khyber Pass, Baring Head about 1 km before the coast on Coast Road, Wainuiomata. If you have your own gloves and spade feel free to bring them. There’s safe parking along the edge of the road – just keep going until you see the ranger’s vehicle.

If you are planning to attend can you please email and let him know, although of course if you decide you can at the last minute, just turn up. Any queries about weather etc closer to the time, email Mark McAlpine -> mailto:mark [period] mcalpine [snail] gw [period] govt [period] nz or contact Paula on 021 101 4824.


Paul Hughes for the Friends Of Baring Head Trustees

Baring Head planting

Come join Friends of Baring Head and Greater Wellington Regional Council on the 21st June (10am) for a massive planting. We are planning to plant around 1800 natives along the edge of Wainuiomata River and need as much help as possible. So please come and help even if it is only getting one or two plants in the ground you help will be greatly appreciated.

We will meet at 10am at the Baring Head Bridge Carpark (East Harbour Regional Park) around 16kms south of Wainuiomata on Coast Road.

Please if you are planning to attend can you email Mark McAlpine -> mailto:mark [period] mcalpine [snail] gw [period] govt [period] nz and let him know.

Paul Hughes
for the Friends Of Baring Head Trustees

Dear Baring Head Volunteers

The planting season is almost upon us, and we have 2000 plants to get into the ground. As the ground is often rather rocky, we have decided to start the season early by having a couple of work days where we pre-dig holes ready for a possible Scout planting day, and do other preparation work. These preparation days will be May 17 and June 7. Then the next two events after that will be planting – June 21 and July 5.

May 17 we’ll meet at the Coast Road bridge carpark at 10am and then move to the site at Khyber Pass. We’ll have tools and gloves, but feel free to bring your own. Come for half an hour or half a day – any contribution will help. We’ll finish around 1pm. Our last two working bees had sunshine and little wind, so here’s hoping we can make it three in a row. But bring woollies just in case, as Khyber Pass is usually windy and winter is upon us.

There will be updates on our Facebook page closer to the time (e.g. weather forecasts and cancellations if it turns nasty), but if you have any queries text Paula on 021 101 4824.

Kind regards

Paul Hughes for the Friends of Baring Head Trustees

Our next scheduled event is this Sunday. Given the weather, we have decided to shift the time from the usual mid-morning to late afternoon. That way we won’t all end up with heat stroke and sunburn. So we’ll meet at the coastal carpark at 3pm.

The most important task will be taking down the dotterel fence. The chicks have now fledged, so the fence is no longer needed. We tried leaving it in place last year, but the storms damaged a lot of it. So this year it will go into storage until next breeding season. We’ll also clear any rubbish and horned poppies from that area while we are down there.

The second priority will be to do some more of the horned poppy seedhead removal on the southern beach. And a third task is plant care at Khyber Pass. We can choose activities to suit the people who can come along.

So please join us for a fun and fruitful afternoon at the beach. Feel free to bring a picnic and stay for supper. We’ll have some cold drinks and snacks for afternoon tea.

For more information, contact Paula -> mailto:pwarren [snail] doc [period] govt [period] nz on 021 101 4824

Kind regards

Paul Hughes for the Friends of Baring Head Trustees

Monitoring program

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is running a monitoring programme to gain an understanding of the abundance of pest animals such as rats, mice, stoats, ferrets, weasels and hedgehogs at Baring Head. Many of you have assisted us with this monitoring in the past. To do this, cards with non-toxic ink are placed in a network of plastic tracking tunnels baited with peanut butter and rabbit meat. Any small mammals present in the area are lured into the tunnels and leave their footprints on the cards, allowing us to assess their abundance and activity levels. This information is then used to guide biodiversity management at this site and to assess the success or otherwise of our management efforts, including:

  • Reducing levels of hedgehog predation on nationally threatened banded dotterels nesting on the Baring Head foreshore
  • Monitoring the recovery of local lizard populations in response to predator control efforts
  • Monitoring the impact that the removal of grazing has on local rodent populations

The Friends has previously jointly run the programme with GWRC, but the council will now be managing the programme themselves, with the aim of having a core group of volunteers who do lines they know well, without needing supervision on the day. If you would like to join the core team, please contact Sara (contact details below) to get on the list.

But we will need to conduct the February monitor before the new arrangements are fully in place. So Sara is seeking volunteers who have done it before. If you can help, please contact her.

  • Who

We are seeking five volunteers who have assisted us at least once before.

  • When

We are looking at organising this monitor for the 14th and 15th

We also need four people for the 18th to help collect the small mammal monitoring cards.

These dates are weather dependent and may need to be changed: the 24th 25th and 28th will be our back up dates.

  • How

If you are interested please let me know what lines and days you are available. Lines 1 and 2 are the lighthouse terrace lines. Lines 7 and 8 are the river flat lines. Line 4 is along the southern beach. Line 3 is in Fitzroy Bay along the beach, and 5 is the line that goes up from the bridge to the ridge. Line 6 is the slightly difficult line that sidles the escarpment.

-- Day 1 ---- Day 2 ---- Day 3 --
Line 1-2 and 4 and road side of 7 & 8
Sara MoylanSara MoylanSara Moylan
Line 3 and 5
Person 1  
Line 6 and escarpment side of 7 & 8
Person 1  

We will meet at Baring Head car park

10amSaturday and Sunday

Please contact Sara

Sara Moylan -> mailto:Sara [period] Moylan [snail] gw [period] govt [period] nz
Senior Environmental Monitoring Officer

T: 04 830 4426 | M: 027 466 0360

Earlier Posts

Dear Baring Head supporters

There’s been some great progress at Baring Head over the last few months.

The fencing is almost complete, so we’ll be able to start some serious planting of the riverbanks this winter. Despite the tough conditions there, the previous plantings at Khyber Pass and in the coastal carpark are surviving and in some cases even thriving. We have got a lot of plants established on the eroding riverbanks there, and it will be great to be able to extend that work all along the river.

We are well on the way to having all the horned poppy seedheads from the Fitzroy Bay beach removed, and a lot of the southern coast cleared as well. Greater Wellington’s contractors have done a lot of the gorse, and hopefully the box thorn will be completely killed this year. And a volunteer with rock climbing skills has started eradicating karo from the escarpment. It’s a great flowering year for spinifex and mat daisy, so we are hoping that these will fill in the gaps left by the removal of weeds, and more of the coast will be dominated by native vegetation.

We don’t yet have decisions from GW on the lighthouse houses, but we expect to be able to start some work up there soon.

Below is a programme for the main public events in the first half of 2015. Three of those are part of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Summer Parks programme, and need to be booked through their website.

We’ll also be sending out notices for other activities as they are organized.

The horned poppy working bee on Sunday was a great success, with a trailer-load of seedheads removed. We only have one small part of Fitzroy Bay left to do, and then a large area of the southern coast. Paula will be out there Thursday morning to do some more (which beach will depend on which way the wind is blowing), so if you were available to join her, send her a text to 021 101 4824, or an email to <pwarren58 [snail] yahoo [period] co [period] nz>. There may be transport available from Woburn station at 8.30am for 1-2 more people. Otherwise meet at the carpark at about 9 am, and the ranger will be providing transport out to the work site.

But if you are out there at any time, you can contribute to the effort. If you are walking along the southern beach, just break off the seedheads and pile them up near the vehicle track (jammed into a position where they can’t blow around). In a few weeks we’ll be taking a trailer down there to remove all the piles. There’s a large pile already near the big sand slope. If going along Fitzroy Bay, grab a bag from the beach clean-up site at the bottom of the road, fill it, and leave it in a place where it can’t blow away (or with a big rock on it) at the back of the beach (or if you are feeling energetic, back at the clean-up station). Every armload of seedheads is probably about 100,000 seeds that can’t grow. And in areas with dense infestations, that’s about 5 minutes work. So you don’t have to take much time out from your other activities to make a difference.

  • Jan 28 – Evening walk with GW, focused on landforms (geomorphology). *Book through the GW website.*
  • Feb 8 – Horned poppy and beachcombing outing. Walk from carpark to the coast, and explore the area near the road, removing any poppies and looking for interesting treasures.
  • Feb 22 – GW 4-WD event. *Book through the GW website.*
  • March 1 – GW Explore Baring Head event. *Book through the GW website.*
  • March 15 - Horned poppy and beachcombing outing.
  • Apr 19 – Working bee, activity to be determined.
  • May 17 – Planting
  • June 7 – Planting
  • June 21 – Planting
  • July 5* *– *Planting

Paul Hughes for Friends of Baring Head Trustees

Baring Head beach walk this Sunday 11th January

Join Friends of Baring Head Trust and Greater Wellington Regional Council for a walk along the Fitzroy Bay beach while removing horned poppy. Here's a Topo50 map

We will be meeting at 10.30am at the Baring Head Bridge car park and then walking over to Fitzroy Bay. We’ll then walk along the beach, removing poppies and generally enjoying the sun, sand and sea. On the way back we will pick up any rubbish found on the beach and there will be a prize for the strangest thing found! Feel free to bring your lunch and spend the day, or just come for an hour or two.

Forecast is for fine weather, so come and join us for a few hours on a beach and help us in our programme to eradicate pesky poppies and restore the native ecosystems.

Please call or text Paula on 021 101 4824 if you have any queries

Beachcombing at Baring Head – 4-WD transport to the coast and

Saturday December 6, leaving Baring Head carpark at 10.45, back there around 4pm. The trip is weather dependent, and a decision on whether it is going ahead will be made will be made on 5 December.

This will be a great chance for families and others to explore the coast, without long walks, and with an expert available to help you identify what you find.

There will be 4-WD transport provided by members of a 4-WD Club, and space will be limited. Bookings are therefore essential. You could also participate as mountain bikers, in which case we suggest you arrive at 10.30 to avoid the traffic. Even if biking, we would request that you also notify us that you intend to participate, so we can ensure there is a booklet for you and enough tea and coffee.

The transport will leave from the main carpark, and take you over the hill and along the Fitzroy Bay coast to near the climbing rocks. There will be a short illustrated talk about the sorts of animals and plants that can be found on the beach, and you will be given a booklet that has been prepared by the Friends to help beachcombers work out what they have found. We will then lead a walk along the coast to the climbing rocks (huge rocks separated by narrow gaps that are great to explore), or you can just relax and picnic until the walkers get back. We’ll provide tea, coffee and water, but you’ll need to bring your own lunch.

There will be an optional short trip by 4-WD to the lighthouse (about a 10 minute walk on flat paddocks required), and the transport will get you back to the carpark by 4pm.

There will be a small charge for those using the 4-WD transport ($10 per adult, kids free) to cover the costs of the day. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

To book, send an email to both and, stating:

1. Names of people attending, and ages of any children.

2. Whether you wish to use 4-WD transport, or are planning to bike.

3. Contact details for notices (e.g. for cancellations and further details on the day’s programme).

4. If you have any special needs (e.g. if anyone is disabled and might need assistance to get into and out of vehicles).

For more information contact:

Paula Warren 021 101 4824, or Gwen McDonald 04 563 7212.

Places will be confirmed on 4 December, and any cancellation for weather reasons will be on 5 December.

Kind regards

Paul Hughes for the Friends Of Baring Head Trustees

Dear Baring Head supporter

We will go ahead with the working bee we signalled earlier, at 10am. We’ll head down to the pumphouse and do some basic work to ensure it will stay in good condition for the next year. Bring your overalls or something you don’t mind getting dirty in.

Then at 11am we’ll be back at the carpark ready to walk to the beach. We’ve decided to offer this at short notice to take advantage of a great educator who will be introducing kids to the effects of people and rubbish on beach environments. And then we’ll do a beach clean-up. We’ll also be trialling a new booklet on how to recognise the animals that you find on the beach. (There will be a December event focused on beachcombing, so feedback from Saturday will help us refine the booklet.) A Friends expert will be there to help kids (and adults) identify things they find.

If you don’t have kids, don’t be put off coming. The sun will be shining, the sea blue, and the beach full of interesting things. So come along and enjoy the coast and help us make our beach rubbish free.

You can come for an hour or two, or make a full day of it. Join others at the bridge carpark at 11 for the walk over. Or if you can’t make it then and want to come later (or are just running late), park at the main carpark by the bridge over the river, cross the bridge, and follow the road to the right up and over the hill to Fitzroy Bay – you’ll be able to see us as on the beach as you come down the hill on the Wellington side of the hill. If you come later you’ll miss the educator’s programme (which would be a pity), but you’ll still be able to explore the beach, and we’ll be there until mid-afternoon to answer questions.

Bring food and drink, sunblock, hat, warm jacket (you never know with Baring Head), and anything else you might need for a day at the beach. The coast is not really a safe place for swimming, but hot kids can always cool off in the river on the way back.

If you need a ride or can offer a ride, or want more information, contact Paula on 021 101 4824''', or email <pwarren [snail] doc [period] govt [period] nz>

The pumphouse work will happen unless we have a major storm, but the beach event will be deferred or cancelled if the weather looks unsuitable. Remember that the forecast for Wairarapa is usually more accurate – it can be miserable in Wellington and glorious out there. So if you are in doubt on the day, text Paula before 9am to check whether the event is happening and the latest information on weather.

Kind regards

Paul Hughes

for the Friends Of Baring Head Trustees

Dear Baring Head supporter

On Saturday we will meet at 10am at Khyber Pass, and plant more of the area along the edge of the river. If we have plenty of helpers, this will take a couple of hours, so you can easily combine it with a walk to the lighthouse or bike along the new cycleway to Turakirae Head. All tools provided, but you may wish to bring your own gardening gloves. Tea, coffee and cake as usual. This will be the last planting day for the year, and we hope to get all the eroding river bank planted with species that will help to hold it together. If you want to join us and either need transport or can offer it, please let Paula know – <pwarren [snail] doc [period] govt [period] nz>.**

On the Sunday we will be removing more horned poppy from the Fitzroy Bay beach. Mark will provide us with a ride over to the area near the climbing rocks, or you can bring your bike and cycle over the hill and along the coastal road. Leaving the bridge carpark (where the toilets are) at 10.30am, and working until we run out of energy. So bring your lunch and make a day of it. If you haven’t been to the climbing rocks, this is a great opportunity to see a marvelous bit of coast without all the walking. The rocks used to be rock stacks with narrow channels between them, but were then uplifted and surrounded by beach. So it’s a great place for kids to explore. The area of beach we’ll be weeding has beautiful coastal turf communities, and there will be some Botanical Society members among the weeding team who will be able to point out some of the lovely native plants that you’ll be helping to protect. If you want to join usand want a ride from the carpark to the beach, please let Paula know – <pwarren [snail] doc [period] govt [period] nz>. If you want to come a bit later in the day, that can probably be arranged.If you want to walk or bike, we’ll be down towards the climbing rocks in Fitzroy Bay.

Kind regards

Paul Hughes for the Friends Of Baring Head Trustees

Dear Baring Head supporter

We’ve managed some great work already over the last year. The small mammal monitoring has managed to provide good data, and we’ve started to trap pest animals. We also did some focused protection work around nesting dotterels, and as a result the birds were able to produce a lot more chicks than in the past. We have done a lot of planting at Khyber Pass, and last year’s plantings at the coastal carpark have done really well. We started horned poppy control, and think that eradication is going to be feasible. Frequent beach clean-ups means that the amount of plastic is significantly reduced. Also there are now toilets and picnic tables available for visitors.

Fundraising, management planning work, and other preliminaries are underway, and we are hoping that next year we can significantly increase the amount of work we are doing, and start restoring the lighthouse complex. But for the rest of this year we’ll be continuing with the programmes that we have already started.

Below is the proposed calendar of events. So please pick one(s) that excite you, and put them in your diary. You’ll see that in December we are going to try out combining some work with a fun walk. That will involve a couple of hours walking, with a chance to explore what has washed up on the beach with an expert. Followed by lunch at the lighthouse, with magnificent views of the rest of the coast, and a chance to help us begin to restore the lighthouse complex and surrounding cliff areas.

  • The next event is 9th and 10th of August. We’ll be doing small mammal monitoring, and a number of other tasks down on the coast. Please let us know if you can make it, so we can coordinate transport, assign people to jobs, and make sure there’s enough cake. Email Paula on <pwarren [snail] doc [period] govt [period] nz>. Monitoring work will start at 10am each day. Let us know in the email if you need or can provide transport, and if you have done the monitoring before. And we would also love to have someone with some experience in fencing to help Mark put up the temporary fence around the dotterels. *

Page last modified on 2016 May 29 00:07

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