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...

At the point where we were becoming increasingly demoralised with losing the war on weeds in the wetland we received an email from Wendy at New Zealand Landcare Trust. Wendy had visited us a few weeks earlier, encouraging us with great advice and a suggestion that she might be able help with some volunteer labour. And boy did she come up trumps with an invitation for us to host an Outward Bound Service Watch. 'You bet' we said.

It turned into an overnight stay with a cohort of 8, ranging in age from 18-26 hailing from all parts of NZ. We offered up the barn as base camp and together we went down to the wetland with tools and wheelbarrows and showed them our task. We started off in a relatively accessible area, finding the plant (which we are proud to say they can now all identify flax, cabbage, kowhai. kahikatea and kanuka), removing the weeds from around the base then laying mulch. With the boundary line cleared rather swifty we took them into a more weed ravaged area. The weedier it got the more they embraced the challenge, until we were in parts that we had not entered for over a year. We joked, laughed and worked together sharing stories until we reached the end of that patch.

The next morning we tackled the Carex secta we had planted last September along one of the waterways. Once again the team dived in and collectively we made short work of the task all the while learning more about wetlands and growing grapes.

To wrap up their time at Dayvinleigh Wetland we invited them to each plant a Cabbage Tree that we had grown from seed sourced on the property. They chose to plant them in the shape of an O, helping one another to dig, plant, water and mulch their trees. They chose to name their site 'Sanderson 2021' their code name for their watch.

What an amazing group of young people and what an incredible adventure they were on with Outward Bound.

This service watch clocked up 92 hours of work in the wetland taking us to 1007 total volunteer hours help in Dayvinleigh Wetland. Thanks Outward Bound and the crew of Sanderson 2021!

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.