Craigieburn – a slice of Scotland with a Rimu twist

Visitors to Craigieburn

The Dunedin Amenities Society hosted visitors to Craigieburn who were taking part in the 2014 Dunedin Scottish Festival today. The festival celebrating the unique Scottish heritage of Dunedin has been an opportunity for many to celebrate and explore the city’s Scottish roots. Craigieburn Project Manager Paul Pope gave the group a guided tour of the Craigieburn and showed the group the early life of the Rankin, Sherriff and Tanner families who settled this small piece of the Dunedin Bush as a colonial subsistence farm. It was an also an opportunity to discuss the lasting conservation legacy creating by the settler family who retained the extensive rimu forest on the site. Once again it was great pleasure to share the stories about the Rankin, Sherriff and Tanner families and give people a real glimpse of early Scottish life in Dunedin. (Click on pictures to see a larger view).

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Getting the Spade in the Ground

Students at the byre with Toby

It was a welcome sight to see the sun shining brightly this morning after the rain, hail and snow that Dunedin has experienced recently. Otago Polytechnic Horticulture students with tutor Lisa Burton and Project Manager Paul Pope were at Craigieburn today undertaking their 20th year of native tree planting together. Since 1994 the horticulture students have planted around 12,000 – 13,000 trees to create a unique and flourishing new piece of native forest that compliments the existing rimu forest remnant.

Today, the students planted 200 trees, filling in a few gaps in the already well established planting that has taken place in the western paddock of Craigieburn. The Dunedin Amenities Society have been well supported by the Otago Polytechnic Horticulture course at Craigieburn and their enthusiasm for the area and the work of the Society is greatly heartening. Importantly too, its great to be able to show the students the benefits of habitat restoration and to be able to show them the work of their peers. It was also good to have new Craigieburn Committee member Councillor Aaron Hawkins come along and see first hand the importance of the partnership the Society has with the Polytechnic. Once again many thanks to students today and to all of the students who have contributed to Craigieburn over the past 20 years, your enthusiasm and hard work is valued and much appreciated. (Click on the pictures to see the images in a viewer)

The Fantails at Craigieburn

This week Craigieburn had a visit from some budding naturalists, explorers and outdoor adventurers. The Fantail Trails are a Dunedin based nature exploration group for children ages 0 through to junior primary school. The group undertake outdoor outings for caregivers and children to explore some of the great nature spaces in Dunedin. The outdoor walks and exploration provide a social outing for caregivers and children and create opportunities for unstructured play, getting muddy and exploring at a pre-school pace. The group today took the opportunity to explore the Craigieburn forest and visit some of the heritage areas of the reserve. Great to have young children and their caregivers using Craigieburn in such a creative and interesting way.

Fantail Trails Group

Craigieburn and Toitu

Craigieburn RimuThe development of a pilot education programme with Toitu – Otago Settlers Museum is a great opportunity to bring the Craigieburn story to a new and young audience. As an organisation the Dunedin Amenities Society has a role in providing opportunities for learning with a view to developing the future landscape, environmental and heritage stewards of the future. That’s a mantle we should be prepared to pass onto others not as a burden but as a pleasure and privilege. With the development of the partnership programme we’ll see 300 children visit Craigieburn this term and they’ll experience hands on what colonial life was like in the forests of nineteenth century Dunedin. Importantly too, they’ll be able to learn more about the unique conservation legacy that Craigieburn has with its rich rimu forest. This programme will also bring teachers and parents into contact with Craigieburn and the values of the Society and hopefully that will inspire them to explore the City, their roots and our environment further.

This is an exciting opportunity for the Society, Toitu and the City Council to create a strong partnership that adds value to our community and one of Dunedin’s really special places.

Read the Otago Daily Times article here…


Putting the Spade in the Ground – Craigieburn

Otago Polytechnic Horticulture students spent a day planting native trees and shrubs at Craigieburn recently. The planting was the 19th year of the planting project by the Polytechnic Horticulture students at the Craigieburn Reserve. The planting was a continuation of the last three years work strengthening the bush line along the central paddock.

Otago Polytechnic Horticulture students began planting native trees in the 1.5 acre grassy open paddock on the western boundary of Craigieburn in 1994, and after 9 years of hard work the paddock planting was completed. The totara, rimu, miro and matai have shown phenomenal growth and through the students work a new piece of sustaining native forest cover has been created. Otago Polytechnic Course Co-ordinator Lisa Burton and Craigieburn Project Manager Paul Pope were able to show the current students the positive impact that the preceding students have had on the reserve over the last 19 years.

The Amenities Society takes great enjoyment in hosting the students and staff at Craigieburn, as their enthusiasm and energy is uplifting and inspiring. The project also serves an important purpose in the preparation of the students towards their horticultural qualifications. These will hopefully inspire them in their own projects, future studies and employment in the horticulture industry. On behalf of the Dunedin Amenities Society our thanks for your efforts to make our site a great success.

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Climbing to the Top at Craigieburn

1Copy of Arb (16)

Students and tutors from the Otago Polytechnic Arboriculture course spent three days at Craigieburn undertaking some essential work on the reserve’s trees. The students removed deadwood and damaged branches from the large macrocarpa shelter belt in the main paddock. The programme is the second year of three-year partnership between the Otago Polytechnic and the Craigieburn Committee where the site is used for training purposes. Craigieburn Project Manager Paul Pope asked the students to put their climbing skills to the test and inspect some of the rimu canopies while he bravely gave words of encouragement from the forest floor. The trees range in age with the oldest being around 550 years old and the students inspected the trees for wind damage, disease and rot. Around 16 of the 52 rimu were climbed and in general all were in good condition. So we may get at least another 300-350 years from these wonderful trees. Otago Polytechnic Arboriculture tutor Matt Miller said that getting the chance to climb such old native trees in an urban context was a rare and an important opportunity for the students to experience. It was a real pleasure to have the students utilise their skills at Craigieburn and we look forward to having them back next year. Click on the pictures below for viewer.

Planting the Seed at Craigieburn

Students from the Otago Polytechnic Horticulture course continued a 18 year relationship with the Dunedin Amenities Society with further tree planting at Craigieburn recently. The students planted further native plants on the Tanner Road frontage to add a visual link to the adjoining Ross Creek area and improve the entrance to the site from the road. They will return to the reserve on the 14th of September for further planting work to strengthen the southern bush boundary. With a stiff easterly breeze the group worked well in an effort to keep warm, and took the time to look at the historic and forest values of Craigieburn which makes the reserve unique.

Otago Polytechnic Horticulture students began planting native trees in the 1.5 acre grassy open paddock on the western boundary of Craigieburn in 1994, and after 9 years of hard work the paddock planting was completed. The totara, rimu, miro and matai have shown phenomenal growth and through the students work a new piece of sustaining native forest cover has been created. During the last 8 years other parts of Craigieburn have also been replanted with each new course group contributing to the success of the reserve re-planting. Otago Polytechnic Course Co-ordinator Lisa Burton and Craigieburn Project Manager Paul Pope were able to show the current students the positive impact that the preceding students had on the reserve over the last 18 years.

The Amenities Society takes great enjoyment in hosting the students and staff at Craigieburn, as their enthusiasm and energy is uplifting and inspiring. The project also serves an important purpose in the preparation of the students towards their horticultural qualifications which will hopefully inspire them in their own projects, future studies and employment in the horticulture industry. On behalf of the Dunedin Amenities Society our thanks for your efforts to make our site a great success.