‘War on Weeds’ at Colonial Knob

Don Herron —  22/10/2015

A short 30-minute drive north of Wellington, Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve protects one of the more significant areas of native forest left in the Tawa-Porirua basin.

Last month DOC staff joined volunteers from BNZ and Mana Cycle Group at Colonial Knob to tackle one of the prevalent Dirty Dozen weeds that DOC is targeting as part of the War on Weeds.

A group of weeding volunteers at Colonial Knob.

The happy team about to get stuck in

BNZ’s Closed for Good programme sees BNZ staff leave the office for a day to help out with community projects.

The first task was to head up to one of the old reservoirs built in the late nineteenth century and remove the weed wandering willie.

Two volunteers removing the weed wandering willie.

Smile, you’re having fun!

This nasty weed smothers forest areas and prevents native seedlings from growing.The group was tasked with pulling it out and removing it for spraying. Sometimes they were up to their knees in the mud to do it!

Volunteers wading through mud to remove wandering willie weeds.

Gumboots are a must

Coffee, muffins, the Dominion Post quiz and sunshine made for a fantastic morning tea. Well fed and watered volunteers work harder!

Wandering willie ready for spraying.

Wandering willie ready for spraying

The afternoon’s activities involved planting native trees, provided by Porirua City Council, alongside new mountain bike tracks built by Mana Cycle Group. Planting was concentrated on the barren areas to provide a visual and physical barrier for users.

Mana Cycle Group is developing Te Ara a Rangituhi – The Rangituhi Trails in partnership with Porirua City Council, DOC and local iwi Ngāti Toa. These will be a network of mountain biking and walking trails that enhance people’s experience of the area.

Planting along the The Rangituhi Trails track.

Planting the barren bits

The work completed on this day was a small step towards the wider goal: to enhance the biodiversity of the reserve and increase recreation in the area.

Without the generous help of volunteers this wouldn’t be possible.

Don Herron


Don works in the Poneke/Wellington Department of Conservation Visitor Centre in Wellington city. Don loves tramping, riding his mountain bike, travelling and planting natives in his garden at home.