Julian Watts and Ivan Kitson exploring the local fauna. Photo Olivia Walker

The island’s popular Twilight Rambles round some of the island’s most interesting wilder areas will resume in January. 

Run by the Forest and Bird Hauraki Islands Branch, programme  organiser Julian Watts says the rambles will be held every Tuesday evening in January. 

Designed for a leisurely wander rather than a mad dash, they will be hosted by knowledgeable local committee members with special guests adding colour and flavour, he says.

The theme for this year is biodiversity hotspot, our wetlands, and there will be an added twist on each walk. Dogs are welcome for the first four walks on a lead and the event is child friendly but may include some uneven, wet ground. Solid footwear or gumboots are a good idea as well as comfortable clothes for walking. 

The series begins on Tuesday 3 January for an evening of Ngā Kākano me Ngā Whetū, seeds and stars, hosted at Te Toki Reserve by Jacqueline Joseph of Kiwi Conservation Club. Designed for children and families, the walk will begin with supervised native seed collection with Ivan Kitson from Waiheke Native Plants round Te Toki Reserve and an introduction to its wetland, followed by a BYO picnic and star gazing with Kim Wesney from Dark Sky Waiheke who will be bringing telescopes. This will be jointly hosted with the friends of Te Toki Reserve.  Everyone interested will meet at 7pm at the main entrance opposite 7 Wilma Road. 

The following week Tuesday 10 January will be a walk round the Atawhai Whenua Forest and Bird Reserve and Mātiata, hosted by Lincoln Jackson and Ivan Kitson, who have been working to restore these areas for many years, following the legacy of Don Chapple. They will be sharing their knowledge of Don’s ‘kindness to the land’ approach to ecological restoration and how it is being applied in the reserve. Meet at 6pm at the 48-hour (Owhanake) car park. • Olivia Walker

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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