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DCWST Newsletter No.3 August 2008
The Driving Creek Wildlife Sanctuary Trustees, in front of the newly completed Sanctuary gate.
Hoya — good friends of the Sanctuary! (A salutation of my boyhood days.)
And no wonder we are feeling ebullient of late - the 113th sponsorship cheque for our fence post project has just arrived. In honour of all supporters we have started making the stamped copper nameplates, which will be attach to each post. Tom Elliott, our “Chancellor of the Exchequer”, has completed a summary of donations received over the past year, your support has been very heartening. (see back page for 2008 donors).
Our big news! On June 3, Xcluder™ Pest Proof Fencing Company, completed the fencing project. Four Sanctuary trustees were present as the final gate was installed and all celebrated the event.
Xcluder began work on the stream culverts on January 7, 2008 - a massive job made slightly easier by local earthwork contractors. Two days later, the culverts were complete, and a week later actual fence construction began. The impressive machinery and tight team work was under the expert guidance of foreman, George Calvert. The basic fence structure - minus gates - was completed on January 25.
A letter from the Xcluder team, after the completion of stage one, expressed their enjoyment at the Driving Creekexperience. I personally made railway mugs as gifts for these real kiwi blokes and reminded them that these will be worth a fortune - after I am dead!
The Xcluder has had many other projects to work on, some overseas, so it was not until April 7 about 15 weeks after the project first began, that they were able to return to install temporary gates. Meanwhile Piet continued with baiting, trapping, and planting.
The DCWS project was completed on June 3, 2008. All gates and the locking system have been installed; entry to the Sanctuary is now only available to those with a special key.
Rob Chappell, doc Ranger, and DCWS Trustee, is experienced in pest eradication on local islands and some semi-protected mainland areas. Rob has designed a pest eradication schedule, which is currently under way.
Meanwhile public access, to the Sanctuary, is suspended until the poisoning stage has been completed. Tracking tunnels (plastic tubes with bait lure and inked footpads) will then be used to determine the nature of any remaining furry pests. Finally, doc Ranger Fin Buchanan’s sniffer dog will be engaged to detect the very last mouse!
Following declaration that the Sanctuary is at last pest free a rare striped gecko, which Rob has been housing, will be released, to be followed, hopefully, by a range of endangered species from birds, frogs, amphibians, to insects.
An architect friend of mine has recently designed, what he terms a “pavilion”, this is his word for the Visitor Interpretation building planned for the Sanctuary entrance. The architects model has curved timber walls capped by a roof of gently twisted planes resembling the wings of a bird about to alight. Geometric windows occupy the gap between the roof and top of the external walls, leaving ample wall space for visual displays and the proposed design also includes a generous external viewing platform.
All work thus far has been done gratis, as a generous contribution to our worthy project. All we have to do now is find the money to build it! But we will not be stumped, as has been demonstrated in the past.
By now, you will all be wondering when the official opening of the Sanctuary will be taking place. The answer is in the coming spring ‘08 when hopefully, the weather is kinder. The event will be well publicised among the conservation fraternity so I hope you will all be able to join us.
Meanwhile, my kindest cheers.
Chairman, Driving Creek Wildlife Sanctuary Trust