During 2017, 12 free pest control workshops
were held in communities stretching from the Kaipara over to the East Coast.
More than 287 farmers and landowners came long to hear how they can deal to pests on their property.
Most took home a free trap or two to get things started and have already been reporting success.
The workshops were held at a variety of locations, including local halls, shearing sheds, garages and school halls.
The training events have also seen some great networks being formed, with people sharing contacts to form local support groups.
It was rewarding to see the enthusiasm from our rural communities and the willingness to put in the effort to help with the goal of landscape-wide protection. We look forward to hearing about benefits as people make a dent in pest numbers – more birds and insects, healthier forests, an increase in inanga/whitebait, and more fruit being left untouched on those orchard trees!
The Forest Bridge Trust teamed up with the Point Wells Community & Ratepayers Association to deliver a pest control workshop at the Point Wells Hall on Sunday.
22 locals from around Point Wells enjoyed a day of practical learning. Experts spoke about the importance of protecting our native wildlife by trapping pests and predators and a range of traps were on hand for demonstrations. Those that were keen to try their hand at trapping at home, were also able to take traps home after the workshop, which will kick off the village-wide pest control programme for this community.
A range of pests have been detected around the area, including rats, possums, hedgehogs and stoats – less of these will encourage wildlife back into the area, especially with local source populations like Tawharanui Regional Park.
Special thanks must also go to the Warkworth Hospice who provided the catering.
A record breaking crowd of 47 people arrived at the Leigh hall on Sunday October 16th to learn about pest control.
CatchIT coodinator Liz Maire said “It was a fantastic number of people. Everyone was super enthusiastic about making a difference in their local environment”
As well as the many individuals in attendance, there were also representatives from local community groups already working hard for their environment. Groups such as Pakiri Landcare, Whangateau Harbour Care, and Leigh Harbour Valley Restoration society.
Cam Rathe was also present at the workshop. Cam is helping out the The Forest Bridge Trust as a Pest Control Advisor. He is providing one on one technical pest control support to landowners in the Trust priority area.
Rain held off just long enough for 19 people from the Ahuroa community to enjoy a practical pest control workshop on Sunday 9th October.
Topics included everything from possums, through to wasps and cats. Everyone seemed to be having issues with possums, so this was definitely the hot topic of the day.
There was a great range of traps on show and many people took up the opportunity to take home a possum or mustelid trap.
Trapper Joe provided plenty of advice on pest control techniques and methods, and answered questions along the way. He also threw in some great snippets of information which you may not have heard before:
Did you know that NZ once exported live possums to Korea? They were known in Korea as ‘apple-eating tree bears’!
Did you know that possums will often stay browsing on one tree? The more the possum stresses the tree, the richer the nutrients become in the stuggling leaves and bark. The possums farm the tree for ‘superfood’ and only move on to the next tree when it dies.
The day was a great success with landowners keen to network and help each other reduce pest numbers. Hopefully they will soon see the benefits of pest control, when wildlife like kaka and pigeon return.
If you weren’t able to make the workshop but are keen to do some pest control on your property, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even the onset of daylight saving didn’t stop over 20 folk from the Matakana community coming along to hear Joe the trapper talk about how to get rid of pests at the CatchIT communities workshop on Sunday 25th September.
People went home happy with a free trap or two. There were lots of connections made as well, with the idea of forming networks to support each other and bring neighbours on board. We even had kaka flying overhead to salute us!
Join us at the next pest control workshops:
Ahuroa Hall, 9th Oct , 9.15am to 12.30pm
Leigh Hall, 16th Oct, 9.15 to 12.30pm