Volunteers turn tip into forest

What was an illegal rubbish tip is returning to native bush thanks to the efforts of 40 volunteers who planted more than 1300 native shrubs and trees on Sunday. Community groups Vision Kerikeri and Living Waters are working to create a wildlife corridor and public walkway along the Wairoa Stream, which rises at Mt Pokaka, flows under Cobham Rd and empties into the Kerikeri River not far from the Stone Store. The volunteers, who came from as far away as Whangarei and included a group of sea scouts from Paihia and an MP, planted 140m of stream bank beside the Mill Lane industrial area, adding to the 630m already planted. About 50 species, including miro, matai, rimu, kohekohe, puriri, kowhai and karaka, were planted. Over previous weeks a massive effort was required to remove a vast quantity of car bodies, bottles, mattresses, oil filters and other waste which had been dumped down the bank over the years, then been overgrown by noxious weeds. Photos by Peter de Graaf.