What We Do

The Project consists of a wide group of people, collectively known as the Friends of Maara Roa.

What the Friends do

The main work is the clearance of pest plants, and the replacement of those with native tree seedlings.

Friends include both organisers and workers.  We plan carefully so that everything we need is there on the day we need it.  That requires people to do a wide variety of different tasks, carefully coordinated so it all comes together on the day.  Some work has to be done a year or more before planting.

Before Friends can come together and plant a couple of hundred tree seedlings, then there have to be seedlings to plant.  Those seedlings have had to be bought, tended in the Nursery for a year or so, and then transported into the bush to the planting site.

To do that, some Friends help with fund raising to buy the tree seedlings, while others collect cardboard milk cartons for turning into plant pots for the Nursery.  Then there's planting and potting on of seedlings to be done in the Nursery, and the clearing of gorse from the bush to make somewhere to plant them.

On the day, you can't just put the seedlings in a hole and that's the job done.  Rabbits or hares will come and eat their tasty young leaves.  If they don't, weeds will grow over them and hide their leaves from the sun so that they die.  To prevent this, every seedling must planted with a "hare net" and protective collar.

To protect leaves from rabbits and hares, plastic bags and wire frames that fix around the seedlings have to be prepared.  To suppress weed growth, cardboard collars to cover the ground around the seedlings have to be cut.  Both "hare nets" and collars have to be made in advance.  There's no time on the day, up in the bush.

After that, there's the post-planting follow-up care to do.  Friends do pest plant and pest animal control, check that collars and hare nets are doing their job, and that the seedlings are progressing well.

What's the BEST thing we do?

It is important to realise that the restoration is recreational in itself - a thing to be enjoyed.  The work is never a chore.  We enjoy ourselves!