News and Events

Education Centre 5th Birthday Sunday 2 December 2018

The 5th Birthday of the Education Centre is going to be a fun day. Starting at 2pm with activities for children and tours of the ponds, bush, nursery and Education Centre. At 3pm we will cut the Birthday Cake and have afternoon tea. We are lucky that Honorlea will be bringing her Natural Body products for sale, and we will have a special guest Rob Tipa who will be bringing his fantastic new book “Treasures of Tane” – all about the traditional uses of native plants. Books will be for sale on the day and we have also lined up Rob to do a workshop here on Sat 26 January 2018 – so sign up for that too. You will also notice a new pattern in our paddock – design courtesy of Bronwyn and the actual work done by Barry and Ray (with a little help from Mark!!). Stewart Island Flights and Martin Catterall kindly took the photos for us – and wow doesn’t it look amazing! See you there, all welcome (including those who have never visited before) – bring some finger food for afternoon tea to share.

Chris

Glenrose Pippins Monday 26 November 2018

Glenrose Pippins came to visit on the evening of 26 November 2018. Studying their Wildlife badge they were keen to learn about an endangered animal and what we can do to protect it, go bird watching and find out what animals live in our neighbourhood and help out at the Nursery.

On the way from the orchard to the Nursery we saw a tui, two piwakawaka (fantail) and two kereru (native pigeon). At the Nature Centre we looked at endangered birds, birds that live in the wetland (harrier, white faced heron, shag, kindfisher and ducks) and highlighted our local favourite endangered bird, the fernbird – a secretive wetland bird that nests near the ground and are threatened by loss of their wetland habitat. Luckily we have our own created wetland they have made their home and are nesting in the absence of predators. At the pond we fed Donna the duck and saw swallows and wild mallard ducks. At the pond Liam pulled the nets out of the pond and transferred the koura (freshwater crayfish) in it to a tank so we all got a good look. The group then helped out in the nursery by potting up 60 makomako (wineberry) seedlings into small pots. It was a very productive and interesting evening – thanks Rachel and Glenrose Pippins!

Chris

Busy Bodies Childcare – Thursday 22 November 2018

Robyn Gamble brought a group of Busy Bodies to the nursery on Thursday 22 November and I am pleased to say the weather had much improved. We had a leisurely walk through the orchard and veggie gardens and then explored the worm farm made out of an old bath. The children marvelled at these little recyclers chomping their way through the veggie scraps, and had fun gently holding them. After putting them back into the dark we went straight down to the pond area – Donna the resident duck was there, and we looked at the pondlife that had been caught in the trap. The smell from the cabbage tree flowers was very strong and tui’s were taking nectar from the flax flowers. In the Nature Centre the children enjoyed the wetland tunnel and learning about insects by doing the big butterfly and weta jigsaws

Chris

Lindisfarne Kindergarten Tuesday 20 November 2018

“We’ll be coming rain or shine” said Wendy McLachlan head teacher of Lindisfarne Kindergarten. So we knew they would be well prepared for the Southland weather on Tuesday – and it was indeed cold, wet and wild! But after walking through the orchard, exploring the Nature Centre and having morning tea we all headed out to do a scavenger hunt around the pond using our senses – eyes, touch, hearing and smell. We were also lucky that at the pond there were some interesting critters caught in the nets – dragonfly larvae, backswimmers, beetles and koura to name a few. We took the pond creatures back to the Nature Centre for a closer look and did some of the big floor jigsaws as well as more exploring in the wetland tunnel and a kiwi song with actions. The group closed by singing a lovely Waiata to Bronwyn and Chris.

Chris

Windsor Brownies Thursday 15 November 2018

Windsor Brownies visited the Southland Community Nursery to learn about insects, gardening and birds. A quick look at the orchard and the vegetable gardens and the associated companion planting, talking about the importance of bees and other insect pollinators was followed by the ‘ooohs’ and ‘yucks’ looking at the worms in the worm farm. What a great job the worms do to help us with our gardening though! We then potted up some coriander seedlings and talked about what kind of plants can be planted in a garden, what some of the plants are that the girls plant at home (if any) and what care is needed for growing plants.

Bronwyn