DOC organised a weeding day on the Otama Beach Sand Dunes Reserve on the 28th of February inviting local community volunteers to participate. This initiative was mainly to target Lupins to reduce infestation over the dunes area.

There was an excellent turnout of 12 volunteers and 10 staff from DOC. Wearing hats, sunblock and safety vests we spread out over the dunes in a grid pattern to ensure good ground coverage. We spent 6 hours pulling out Lupins and learning about some of the rare native plants such as Sand Daffeny DOC personnel identified in the dunes. We pulled out or cut down and pasted approximately 2389 Lupins, a bag full of Ice Plant, one Pine and 2 juvenile Banksia. 

It was a great way to meet some of our local DOC representatives and learn about some of the native dune plants, while helping eradicate pest plant species. Lupin eradication is undertaken on a 6 monthly basis and is part of the ORG’s preservation work. The sand dune reserve at Otama is self regenerating and coastal scientist Jim Dahm regards it as by far the most ecologically valuable dune system in the Coromandel, with DOC classifying it as number 2 in NZ.  It is also home to many native birds including the Torea – pango (Oyster Catcher) and the endangered Tuturiwhatu pukunui (Dotterel).

Many thanks to Emily McKeague and Alicia Lose for organising this initiative and for the nice barbeque afterwards, and Jude an Otama resident who brought us all freshly made ANZAC cookies. It was a great day for the community.