And please contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in joining the Friends or volunteering on planting days. The Friends' bank account for donations and membership subs is: Kiwibank 38 9008 0305360 00. Donations are tax-deductible, as the group is now a charity.
The small rare dune swamp kahikatea forest was rescued from neglect and cattle about 1990 by the vigorous efforts of a few locals. Now its area is around 6ha, the result of dedicated planting over the last 10 years, particularly following Community Conservation Fund grants from DOC in 2009 and 2010. This remnant has around 72 native plant species, including kahikatea, nikau, pukatea, milk trees, whau, kohekohe. Swamp maire was recently present and will be re-introduced. Kaka, kakariki, kereru, falcon, cuckoos, morepork, bellbird are recorded.
The north Whareroa drain with new fences 10 metres from each side – lowering the water table to create fields where once there was wetland.
The stunning restored Marines Wetland, accessible from Whareroa Rd inside the Mackays Crossing entrance to the park, gives us a glimpse of what the park once looked like. It is home to a growing number of native birds and other valuable fauna that can be checked out from a bird hide installed in 2014 as a joint project between the Friends and GWRC.
Sixty percent of Queen Elizabeth Park until last year was leased to a private farmer. GWRC’s long-term plan is for the land to be retired gradually and restored to its natural state. The Friends believe all the peatlands should be removed immediately from any potential farm licence and re-wetted. We support continued light grazing of the sand-dunes to mitigate fire risk in summer.
The Northern Wetland, which can be seen from the multi-use pathway just inside the Poplar Ave entrance, has been restored by GWRC and community volunteers over the past 10 years and is already flourishing.
This small degraded southern wetland is in the area still designated as farmland, although there is no current licence-holder. The Reserves Act, under which the park is managed, stipulates that native flora and fauna must be protected and the use of agri-chemicals minimised.
One of the information boards on the area's biodiversity that can be found throughout the Park.
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Riparian plantings along the Whareroa and Wainui streams and other planting to restore extensive associated wetlands are being carried out. Some of this work has been funded by a targeted grant from GWRC. The rare grass Amphibromus fluitans has been recorded. Giant kokopu, inanga, long finned eel and koura are present.
The project over three years used a $300,000 Ministry for the Environment grant to support volunteers to improve biodiversity on the Kapiti Coast. Four main areas were covered - Queen Elizabeth Park, the Paekakariki-Pukerua Bay escarpment, the Whareroa Farm Reserve and part of Perkins farm/Middle Run.
Te Ara o Whareroa, the new family-friendly cycleway through the park, has been enthusiastically received since it opened in January 2016. Developed by GWRC, it provides a link between the communities of Raumati and Paekākāriki and makes it possible to avoid highway traffic when cycling between the two villages. It demonstrates a commitment to the development of healthy sustainable transport options for the Kāpiti Coast and appeals to locals and visitors alike.
© Friends of QE Regional Park Kapiti Trust 2018