Posted By QEII National Trust | February 20, 2020

At QEII we’re lucky to see long lasting relationships form around the common interest of protecting special places for the benefit of future generations. A great example of where this is happening in Bowman’s Bush in Otatara, Southland. Bowman’s Bush is managed by the QEII National Trust, Invercargill City Council and some dedicated volunteers from the Otatara Landcare Group.

For the past 14 years a range of locals and members of the Otatara Landcare Group have held an annual weeding bee, specifically to deal with the weed Chilean Flame. The event takes place in summer and it is hard work to get the pernicious weedy vine under control. Chilean Flame is hard to control with any other method as it grows draped across and intermingled with native species. It can have a suppressing effect on the understorey of a forest, by smothering seedlings and saplings. The photo below shows what this vine can do to forest if left unmanaged.

This year, the event was led by our Southland regional representative, Jesse Bythell and Randall Milne from the Otatara Landcare Group. They were lucky to have lots of support – including several children, making for a real family friendly evening. The kids decided to gather up all the weeded flame creeper and see how much was removed. The massive piles were impressive for an intense hour of weeding. To balance out the task, the team rewarded themselves with cake and a catch up in the warm summer dusk while admiring the bush.

Carrying on the community love, Maurice Rodway, a neighbour to Bowman’s Bush and friend of ex QEII Regional Representative, Roger Sutton, also repaired the beautiful wooden sign. Maurice noticed that the top of the sign had begun to crack and fixed it up. Roger made signs like this for several QEII covenants and some of these are now 35 years old and in need of some TLC.

All this work at Bowman’s Bush is proof that team work really does make the dream work. QEII is very lucky to have the support of a passionate group of people such as the Otatara Landcare Group as well as the Otatara Pest Busters who regularly check the traps at Bowman’s Bush, removing possums, rats, hedgehogs and very occasionally stoats and the ICC Parks and Rec team who kindly check the walking track regularly to make sure it is safe for public use.

More information about visiting Bowman’s Bush can be found here.