Newsletter February 2020

Friends of Maara Roa (FMR): 20 years of bringing biodiversity back to the Cannons Creek catchment

February 2020 Newsletter

In July 2020, it will be 20 years since the Friends of Maara Roa (FMR) was incorporated, its purpose to restore the biodiversity of the Cannons Creek catchment.   In that time some 83,500 trees have been planted in a significantly expanded area, and more and more birds are being seen, including the first falcon recently. However the number of volunteers helping with regular tree care, planting, pest control and summer watering at the nursery has diminished.  

So please help us spread the word about our activities.  Pass this newsletter on to anyone who might be interested, and let Janet Tyson know the email address of anyone who could be added to our mailing list.  This month’s news (in more detail below):

  • New possum traps with GWRC funds
  • Let us know now if your group would like a planting day
  • Ways to get involved

New possum traps, thanks to GWRC Community Environment Restoration Fund

Thanks to a grant of $2600 from the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Community Restoration fund, we now have 16 new A12 self-resetting GoodNature possum traps.  The new traps, which need less regular monitoring and maintenance, will be installed to replace existing bait stations, especially in areas that are difficult to access.   They will add further protection to the “wall” of A24 automatic rat and stoat traps that have already been installed using our first GWRC funding grant, in 2018.   The new funds, with a further $1580 to be paid later this year, are much appreciated at a time when we only have two active “pest controllers.”

Let us know if your group would like a planting day

There will be at least 1500 new plants to be placed this year, most of them raised in our nursery at Aotea.  The planting season begins in late May and the best time for group activities is in July and August, but we would like to know as soon as possible if you are interested.  To help us plan ahead and work out a date to suit (not necessarily a Saturday) contact Sef Truyens ( or Janet Tyson ( 

Ways to get involved

Extra helping hands are always welcome, even if you can only spare one day. The months before the planting season are a busy time of clearing and weeding, and “releasing” those plants that have outgrown their protective plastic sleeves.  We meet by the Cannons Creek Entrance to Belmont Regional Park at 9.30 am every fine Saturday; Des Drummond is there to welcome any newcomers. The nursery – now standing in splendid isolation as Aotea College moves into its brand-new buildings – meets every Thursday from 10 am to 12 noon.   Thanks to Adrienne, Brenda, Dawn, Des, Janet, Jonathan, Libby, Mel, Rae and Royce who have kept the plants watered over summer.

Our next committee meeting will be on Tuesday 24 March. 
Contact if you would like to come along to raise a particular issue.