News and Events

Cider Makers Welcome!!

We will be having a Community Apple Pressing morning from 9.30am-noon on Sunday 7 April 2024! All welcome. Bring your apples (scrumped, fresh or thawed from frozen), your own bottles to put juice in and any other containers you need. We also have lots of cider apples on site (Kingston Black, Sweet Alford and Yarlington Mill) for anyone who wants to pick and juice them for making cider later.

Riverton Environment Centre will be bringing the Apple Press donated to them by Malcolm Mackenzie, so come along with your apples and join the fun. A small charge for juicing depending on numbers of people attending, so please bring some cash as well.

Also on this week is the official launch of the Southern Dotterel project – see details on the poster below (POSTPONED).

And finally for this week - another good event is taking place on Saturday 6 April – the Autumn SERN Field Trip – all welcome – details at


Kyla Cresswell Workshop and Volunteer Fridays March 24

Kyla Cresswell Workshop March 2024 at the Southland Community Nursery

Our goal was to create postcard sized prints using the drypoint etching technique. This entails incising marks onto a piece of rigid clear material. We were encouraged to explore our surrounds with birds, insects and plants close at hand to inspire.

Our group included beginners through to art graduates, all intently focussed on learning from our patient, thorough and experienced tutor, Kyla. So much experimenting, comparing, trying again and wishing the day was longer. The chocolate bars and home baking provided energy, with sharing knowledge and enthusiasm the impetus. The process of recording impressions of our individual interests is difficult to hurry, requiring intense quiet concentration, then moving about to apply inks, prepare paper and holding your breath as the print comes through the roller. Our workshop room in the Education Cente was perfect, Kyla an engaging and generous tutor, participants enthusiastic and creative…… so yes I had a great day. Now to keep practicing and look forward to more art workshops!

Linda Jackson

Volunteer Fridays Mornings at the Nursery Jan-March 24

Friday mornings have been busy with lots of people and the usual jobs – pricking out, potting, moving plants, weeding, watering and now seed collecting and seed cleaning. We are probably half way through seed collecting with a reasonable amount of seeds still to be collected. Last Friday’s horrible weather was a good opportunity to catalogue and process the seeds already collected so Chris gave a talk on the process to date and volunteers set to work on the quite laborious (or mindfulness, depending on your attitude!) job of processing and cleaning seeds, all in the relative comfort of the Nature Centre. The whole process is described at this link on the website - and it also describes the type of seed you are looking for and roughly when it will be ready for collection in Southland. Be aware that if you miss that seed collecting opportunity then you have missed it for the whole year ahead. Also, not all plants seed well each year so it pays to be vigilant and always on the lookout. The next few weeks will continue with seed collecting and processing and then mass sowing of all the seeds before the “cuttings” season is upon us in June and then closure for winter in July. It feels like the season is hurrying on, but we can still enjoy the good autumn days when we get them. See you sometime on a Friday morning!

ngā mihi


Kyla Cresswell Art Workshop coming up soon

Artist Kyla Cresswell will be holding a one day art workshop, here at the Community Nursery Education Centre on Saturday 2 March 2024. All the details here

Please email Chris at to book your place, and when your place is confirmed, you will need to pay in advance.

There will be a “reserves” list if demand is such that you dont get on first time.


Southland Community Nursery Opens Friday 19 January 2024

We hope everyone has had a relaxing and enjoyable end of year and beginning of 2024!

The Nursery will be open for volunteers Friday 19 January and we hope you are all champing at the bit! The Nursery work hasn’t stopped over the holidays of course, plants and weeds have kept growing and watering has been an ongoing job. There will be plenty to do including potting, weeding, watering, moving plants, track clearing, seed collecting (yes it has started already!).

We have had quite a few forays away during the holidays and the odd few native plants have caught our eye on the way, as well as producing some impressive fruit and veggie crops – see photos below.

See you on the 19th January.

Chris and Brian

Community Nursery Year End 2023

In the final few weeks we have been busy with volunteer Fridays, Bronwyn’s litter intelligence group and a few end of year functions. The Nursery Break -up for the year on Friday 15 December was well attended and some work was even done!! Congratulations everyone on a great spread of food and for your support during the year. Honorlea brought her Kakariki natural beauty products, which were a great hit – great Christmas pressies!

Drum Roll…….. For those waiting with bated breath, the Jo Ogier print raffle was won by Rachel Baxter, from the Haehaeata Trust Nursery at Clyde – so the wonderful shag will be winging its way to Clyde very soon! The raffle made over $300 so thanks Jo for your generous gift to the Nursery.

A rather smaller group attended Environment Southlands Pesties Christmas get-together on Sunday 17th but we enjoyed good weather and catch-ups and look forward to all continuing our pest control efforts next year.

In the previous 10 days Chris and Brian skived off to Northland leaving a posse of “waterers” at the ready. While C&B were enjoying 23 degree days it appears that Southland did have some rain and the “hand watering” wasn’t as onerous as anticipated. However, strong winds have kept the ground, and pots drier than we would like! Attached a few photos of the magnificent pohutukawa flowering up north – NZ’s Christmas Tree did us proud. And just to skite a little bit the veggie gardens are looking great and my top crops so far are a magnificent crop of strawberries and the Broccoflower – my only successful attempt to grow it so far.

Happy Christmas everyone, see you in the New Year.

The weekly Nursery Volunteer morning will re-open on Friday 19 January 2024, but feel free to call in socially anytime over the holidays.

Chris and Brian