By GUY WILLIAMS
The Whakatipu Conservation Celebration planned for tonight at the Kiwi Birdlife Park has been knocked on the head because of the elevated Covid alert level earlier this week.
But one of the speakers lined up for the event, local Department of Conservation boss Geoff Owen, says in a statement the community’s put thousands of volunteer hours into native planting and predator control efforts.
‘‘The birdsong is testament to this, as are the planted natives thriving where weeds once reigned.’’
He also gives a potted summary of other conservation efforts in the Whakatipu, including the wilding control group’s (WCG) operations covering more than 18,000 hectares since last July.
The Routeburn Track, which took a hammering during a massive downpour a year ago and only fully reopened to walkers in December, has been virtually fully booked this summer so far, while other local multi-nighters like the Rees-Dart and Greenstone-Caples tracks have had a good number of walkers, he says.
Meanwhile, one community conservation event was always going ahead this weekend, despite Alert Level 2 restrictions threatening most other weekend events until yesterday.
The WCG’s holding a volunteer day this Saturday on Queenstown Hill, and those keen to help rid the area of some pest pines should get themselves up to the Basket of Dreams by 9.30am.
The walk up takes about 30 minutes from the start of the track at the top of Belfast Terrace.
Kit will be provided, but vollies can bring their own along with their own gloves, food and drink.