Rediscovering Bullock Track Bush

Bullock Track Bush, Western Springs
Bullock Track Bush, right on the border of Western Springs and Grey Lynn.

Bullock Track Bush is rich with native specimens. Some may even pre-date human arrival. Find out about Forest & Bird’s restoration project…

If you’ve strolled – or hiked – Bullock Track recently, you might have noticed a team of volunteers from Forest and Bird hard at work amongst the undergrowth that borders the road.

We’re told that the team is clearing weeds and planting natives on about three hectares of sloping land to the west of the site.

Bullock Track Bush is a treasure trove of native plant species

According to a post on their website, beneath a tangle of introduced weeds, the area is actually rich with native species, stands of some of which may pre-date human arrival.

Among the treasures uncovered by the team so far are patches of tall Manuka and Ngaio, scattered Tarata, Kanuka, Ponga, Te Kouka (cabbage tree), Hangehange, Kawakawa, Karamu, Pohutukawa and even Kahikatea.

Future planting will include Kauri, Matai, Rimu, Pukatea, Kohekohe, Putaputaweta, Nikau, Mamaku, Wheki, Toetoe, among others. A “distinct swamp ecosystem will be created at the bottom of the hill.”

Eliminating weeds, controlling predators and dissuading mountain bikes

The team shared more detail about their vision for Bullock Track Bush at the October 2020 meeting of the Waitematā Local Board. They aim to create a “beautiful and locally unique environment of diverse native flora and fauna, which is representative of the Auckland region as a whole.

“This will be a place where native species can thrive, and people can go to relax and enjoy them in their neighbourhood. To achieve our vision we will need to substantially enhance the diversity and number of natives, eliminate weeds, remove rubbish, and control predators.”

The project is not without its challenges, which the group report include a new and expanding network of unofficial mountain bike tracks, and an old asbestos dump that needs to be cleared from the area.

How to play your part and who to contact

The group have called on the Board to help address both issues, and also invited them to name the special fragment of bush.

Alongside the elimination of weeds, the group is now focused on removing rubbish and controlling predators and they’re always looking for volunteers to join them.

The Bullock Track Bush project is a long-term one that the team hopes to have finished in 2024.

Join their Facebook group Forest and Bird Auckland Central Bullock Track Bush Restoration Project or to receive regular project updates email: bullocktrackbush@gmail.com

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