Big operation to remove pest plants from bank

Work under way . . . West Harbour Community Board member Francisca Griffin surveys the sycamores and other invasive species being removed from Albertson Ave, Port Chalmers, this month. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The invasion of pest plant species in Albertson Ave, Port Chalmers, is being halted with a massive removal operation.

The project is the brainchild of West Harbour Community Board member Francisca Griffin, who had noticed the proliferation of sycamores, ngaios, coprosmas and other invasive species during walks in the area.

“Some of the species are natives, but they just tend to take over and become invasive,” Ms Griffin said.

Previous attempts to clear the bank had been unsuccessful, as the cleared sycamores had not been poisoned and had re-infested the area.

“So it grew up again, even weedier and uglier.”

Ms Griffin secured $1600 from the board for the removal project, which is being led by contractor David Blair, of Upfront Environmental, and supported by the Dunedin City Council.

The vegetation is being removed from a 150m bank stretching from the intersection of Albertson Ave and Wickliffe Tce to the entrance to the community park.

The area, which is reclaimed land, will be replanted with plants typical to the area.

Also, nine fruit trees – apples, pears and plums – will be planted along the margins of the area.

The trees were given to the project through the Volco Park Trust and sourced from Habitate heritage fruits nursery in Waitati.

Once the trees were removed, community volunteers would be invited to help with the planting of new natives and fruit trees.

It was expected the project would be completed by mid to late November, Ms Griffin said.