Each year since 1998 the Motuora Restoration Society has organised and funded weed control programmes, initially focussing on areas we could get to on foot – the interior of the island and gentler cliff slopes – and more recently attacking the steeper cliffs as well.
This year we have taken advantage of Toby and Sian’s extensive abseiling and weed control experience to have a major push on dealing to the weeds on the steeper cliffs, where most of our remaining weeds are located. At the same time we have carried out our regular grid search of the interior of the island to locate the odd plant we have missed and new weeds grown from seed delivered by birds or the wind from plants on the mainland or nearby islands.
This year’s weed control programme has not been cheap, but we have been fortunate to have obtained generous grants for the work from several sources, notably the Becroft Foundation, the Lion Foundation and WWF, and herbicides donated by Agpro NZ Ltd.
The photos taken by Sian of Toby in action on the cliffs show that it’s not a job for anyone nervous of heights.
Text by Kit Brown
Photos Sian Potier