Work has begun on the Craigieburn Reserve in Tanner Road to clear gorse and other noxious plants in preparation for planting of native plants in October. The clearance work recently undertaken by contractors and Taskforce Green has removed gorse that in some places was between 30-40 years old. The clearance and replanting is part of the Dunedin Amenities Society and City Council’s joint reserve restoration project that was finalised earlier this year. This new stage of the reserve restoration is a continuation of a 60 year partnership between the Society and the Council. The partnership will be celebrated publicly in October as part of the International Year of Biodiversity.
The Craigieburn property was purchased jointly by the Dunedin Amenities Society and the City Council in 1950 from the Sherriff family who had farmed the area since the early 1860’s. The Sherriff family placed their own moratorium on the mature rimu and other native trees growing on the site in the 1880’s. Private protection by colonial settlers in the nineteenth century was rare and by doing so the Sherriff family have created an important conservation legacy for the City.The restoration project includes construction of a new walking track to link the area with Ross Creek, protection of heritage features of historical significance, onsite interpretation and the development of a website for education and information. It is envisaged that the physical and offsite parts of the project will take 12-18 months to complete and restoration planting with native species between 2-3 years. Once completed the reserve will offer panoramic views of the city and the Leith Valley and will create an important recreational and ecological link to the Leith valley and Ross Creek areas.