Planting bee at Rod Donald Hut

A huge thank you to Sophie Hartnell, BPCT volunteer Coordinator, and Jenn Benden and her team from Jacobs Engineering who returned to Rod Donald Hut for a third time to plant trees and gravel the steep walking track.

Stunning weather and great organisation made for a most successful day. Two teams worked below the hut planting 55 new trees and weeding the trees planted in June 2021. Many of these proved well enough established already to have their protective sleeves removed – a tribute to the quality of plants from the Living Streams Nursery in Little River and the favourable growing conditions over the past year.

Meanwhile up the hill, our Hut Manager David Brailsford was busy improving the tramping track connecting the hut to Te Ara Pātaka walkway with a third team carrying up gravel to improve some slippery areas.

A highlight of the working bee this year was the four great children, who worked hard alongside their parents planting trees and had some fun sliding down the steep hills too.

Another highlight was chatting with Greg – who had known the hut well back in the 1990s when it belonged to the Gunn family who built the hut and used from time to time for mountain biking events. Greg recalled building these tracks in a landscape that was entirely paddocks with scattered gorse – a far cry from the incredible naturally regenerating native forest that is now bursting through that gorse over most of the property.