Successful Wilding Pines Community Event in Devils Creek

MORE THAN twenty people dedicated their Saturday on the slope by the Devils Creek Saddle (above Coronet Peak Road) with a common aim: getting rid of wilding pines. Wilding conifers are changing our local landscape as they have a competitive advantage over all other plant species and thus totally dominate the local flora.


The effects of the spread of wilding conifers are major i.e local flora will struggle to survive (reduction of
biodiversity), visual change of our landscape, and reduction of our water yield. The consequences of doing nothing are very serious both for our economy and environment.

The group featured an enthusiastic contingency from Wakatipu High School (Ben Hull, Seth Mawhinney, Danique Ehmann, Leah Kissick, Benjamin Stevens, and Hamish Attenborough), some Queenstown locals and even a 5 month old baby! Equipped with saws and loppers, kindly lent by the Department of Conservation and QLDC (through the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG), everyone dispersed around the saddle in small groups. The keen volunteers worked non-stop. As they walked back down it was obvious that this community event had quite a positive impact on the landscape and

the native flora. A priceless ‘thank you’ to each volunteer and to the students who were keen to commit and give away their precious time towards this community event. Already a new date is being looked at for the start of spring.

Mr Guillaume Charton.