A Rainy Day Celebration of Community and ConservationThe Spring Reboot

On Sunday, November 19th, despite the heavy downpours, spirits were high inside the Matakana Hall as we gathered for the Spring Reboot end-of-year celebration and BBQ. With a good turnout, the warmth of the community shone through as familiar faces mingled with newcomers eager to dive into local conservation and predator control.

The Spring Reboot allowed The Forest Bridge Trust Team to reconnect with landowners who have supported our vision of achieving 54,000 hectares under mustelid (stoats, weasels and ferrets) control by June 2025. Sharing a BBQ lunch and trapping stories, we celebrated the collaborative efforts in setting up predator control measures and traplines on properties from Kaipara in the West across to Tāwharanui on the East Coast.

As Steve expertly manned the BBQ, Charlie, our data support guru, was on hand to assist people with setting up the Trap NZ app. Meanwhile, Cam from our Predator Control team ran a demonstration on trap-setting techniques and provided a workshop on cleaning a DOC 200. The collective efforts ensured not only a delicious BBQ lunch but also valuable insights and skills for the trapping community.

The Forest Bridge Trust Spring Reboot 2023

We were delighted to have Tamahunga Trappers join us, and share news on the 10 translocated kiwi. The years of planning and hard work have paid off, with the kiwi not just surviving but thriving. The addition of hatched chicks is a heartening sign, showcasing the success of the community’s efforts in predator control, monitoring programs, and kiwi dog avoidance training. The battle against mustelids and rats, notorious for decimating kiwi populations, continues with regular trapline checks, but the flourishing local kiwi population on Tamahunga stands as a testament to collective community action. Katie, our Kaipara Moana Remediation field advisor, was on hand to discuss funding opportunities for riparian planting and fencing, emphasising the broader scope of our conservation efforts. Representatives from Takatu Landcare, Whitebait Connection, and FOAM (Friends of Awa Matakanaka) were also present, providing insights into various ways the community can engage in conservation beyond predator control. After leading the campaign to champion the Australasian Bittern for the Forest & Bird NZ Bird of the Century, we were thrilled to have Pat MacDonald from Natures Vision join us with a variety of wetland plants for sale. The importance of wetland restoration for the well-being of the bittern is vital. Pat was busy throughout the event as people sought him out for advice and to tap into his vast knowledge of wetland varieties and planting techniques.

New to our events this year was a Virtual Reality (VR) station, drawing interest from all ages. Participants could embark on a virtual forest walk or dive below the waves for an oceanic experience, adding a unique dimension to our celebration.

To those who signed up for our Volunteer program on Sunday, we extend our gratitude. If you have a few spare hours a month and would like to get involved, please reach out to Elena – email elena@theforestbridgetrust.org.nz

For those who couldn’t make it, we appreciate your ongoing support. As we enter dispersal season, a gentle reminder to check and rebait your traps. Recording your catches via the Trap NZ app helps us better understand what, how, and where we are making a positive impact on predator control.

Thank you to everyone who made the Spring Reboot BBQ a resounding success. Together, we are making a difference in our community and beyond.