News and stories

There is never a dull moment here at Dayvinleigh, beyond the vineyard there is the daunting but hugely rewarding wetland project that needs tackling, the ongoing list of landscaping tasks, planning a new venture on the bottom terrace and growing the Johnston tribe of fur children.

The following is a collection of news, stories, articles and musings, enjoy...

Taking on a wetland project is not for the faint hearted and there are times where we have felt more than a little overwhelmed and that we were making no progress. Then we get a visit from a couple of the many supporters of Dayvinleigh Wetland and we are reminded just how far we have come.

This week Mike Aviss Biodiversity Officer for Marlborough District Council and Ecologist Geoff Walls of Taramoa Limited joined us on site. Despite the impending rain we set off through the wetland.

Our objectives for the day were to set up and GPS photo points through the wetland and talk through next steps for planting. Geoff had not been on site since 2014 and could definitely see our progress.

We now have 6 photo points set up so we can regularly take photos from the same spots to compare growth, and a plan for winter 2019 planting and maintenance.

Mike setting up the first of 6 photo points in Dayvinleigh Wetland

Mike and Geoff braving the weather during a site visit to Dayvinleigh Wetland

We signed up to the Wwoofing site, (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) to host international visitors who were prepared to do some work in the wetland in exchange for our hospitality. This led to the arrival last week of John, Clara and Kathy from Denver Colorado, such fascinating well traveled people.

It gave us the opportunity to catch up on some well overdue tending to seedlings that will be ready to go out into the wetland in a few months and to set up another 1000 root trainers with flax seed, clocking up another 20 hours of volunteer work on the wetland.

One person's trash is another's treasure, and one person's problematic paddock was Tracy and Kevin Johnston's wetland in waiting...
In 2006, two years after they'd bought their 22 hectare property, including 4ha of grapes, they cast their eyes beyond the vines to the clumpy, soggy pasture beyond. Undaunted by gorse, willows and weed-choked water channels, they decided to create a 4ha habitat in which native fish and bird species could thrive and breed...

Read the full story on page 13 of the January 2019 edition of

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