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Community group restoring biodiversity in Tanera Gully

Tanera Gully Restoration Project has been underway for the past five years, thanks to a passionate community group aiming to restore biodiversity in the area. Tanera Gully parallels Central Park (on its east), Polhill Gully (on its west) and, next to Polhill, it’s bigger neighbour, Zealandia. 

Denis Asher, a representative from the group, relayed “surely, without too much back-breaking effort, and lots of community support, we can bring back miro, northern rata, clematis, fuchsia” to the gully. This motivated bunch are eager to return the land to how it once was, as Denis said “to go forward is to go back.''  

Until recently this seven plus hectare piece of land had been ignored. Served as a dumping ground for residents, framed by senescent pines, crossed by high tension power lines and snaked with pipes. Holding some of the best mountain range and inner city views of Wellington, it came to the group’s attention this gully needed some love. 

In March 2015 community discussions took place, hands went up and working parties were formed. Clean up commenced, seedlings went into the newly cleared ground and traps were also laid. Project Crimson, along with Forest & Bird, Berhampore Nursery and Highbury Nursery were huge supporters of the group's mission.

Back in 2015 natives lightly scattered the region. Mahoe, mamaku, titoki, kahikatea, kōtukutuku, kohuhu, karo and pohutukawa could be found but the rulers of the land were essentially ivy, wattle, sycamore, tradescantia and climbing asparagus. After five years the roles are starting to reverse. Denis relayed weed control is the group’s largest activity and the location of each tree is marked with a stake, which has resulted in successful plantings. 

Denis concluded, “five-years effort has already worked its magic – less organic and inorganic rubbish and our intentions are speaking for themselves”. It will be exciting to see what can be achieved in another five years!