May Report 2022

Remembering Allan Hart

In some small way this is to thank Allan for all his help both with conservation work and companionship he has given me over all the years. In 1998 he “introduced” me to the Richmond Hills by way of getting me to help him cutting out weeds, the likes of old man’s beard, passion vine, nightshade, gorse and such. We wandered through all the valleys that run down to Richmond: Reservoir Creek, Allan’s Valley, Jimmy Lee Creek which we called Des’ Gully (because Des Henry worked there) and finally Hill Street South valley/Hart Creek which has become known as Will’s Gully.

Being a hunter-conservationist myself, it didn’t take me too long to be involved with Forest and Bird and the reserve that they were looking after at Twin Bridges, in the Aniseed Valley and also up at St Arnaud with the Friends of Rotoiti, with the trapping.

Allan and I did a lot of work at Twin Bridges, clearing weeds and re planting natives. Even getting Forest and Bird to help out on occasions! For the Friends of Rotoiti, Allan was to the fore with the trapping around the village traplines and also helping out with the monthly transport (& then fortnightly later) for many, many years.

I guess it was only natural that we got together and did some trips other than conservation work. He introduced me to a Wednesday biking group, in which we biked just about all over the local back roads in the district until the traffic increased too much. Then there was the 50+ Tramping group that we both belonged to and their various one day & five day trips plus some good mountain tramps we did together and with some others. I learnt a lot of local history in the process.

Being a volunteer Dept of Conservation Ranger, and helping out with track clearing, track remarking, hut maintenance and such, I asked Allan to help on occasions. We worked on the Mt Arthur Hut, the Chummies Track, the Wairoa Right Branch track, in the Aniseed, the Mangatapu Saddle area, the Doubles tracks and some I’ve probably forgotten about.

2015, Allan Hart Jan Rabbit Island.

Right throughout he helped out at Rabbit Island, Bell’s Island plus worked on many working bees of Keep Richmond Beautiful too. And of course, he helped many times up Will’s Gully.

2011 Planting Bell’s Is Spit Ron Argue & Allan Hart
2009 Allan – Valley
2010 By the Scullery Kevin & Allan.

He received the Tasman District Council Community Service Award, for outstanding community service in 2002. Janice his daughter, says ‘He was very proud of that.’ There are many forest trees growing in the Richmond Hills – the likes of totara and kahikatea, that will continue to grow, while most will not know if they were planted or grew naturally.

– but Allan will know.

2017, October: Grassy Saddle.

Alan passed away on 7th May, 2022, in his 90th year.

– Will Rickerby

Bryan Riley Reports:

May trap totals:
Wilks line — 7 rats 12 mice.
Waterfall line – 1 rat 1 possum.

Great weather with plenty of fantails following me around while I checked the traps. Cheers, Bryan.

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Tally for this past month : Three rats and two mice. Not a lot, but expect more when it gets colder. Plenty of tui at feeder – 10 counted at, or around at one time a couple of days ago. Several Bellbirds also but most are still eating my remaining apples and persimmons. Quail all gone to their winter residence, but they will be back next spring I expect. Slightly off the subject: Went for a drive to Rabbit island last Sunday where I watched a feral cat persistently pursuing an adult weka. There were people everywhere and all I could do was try and scare the cat off. It would run off into the bushes while the weka ran to another clump. This went on a couple of times with the cat still on its tail. Hope all went well, but did notice the absence of the two younger weka normally in that picnic area. All for now, Alastair.

Bruce Harvey Reports: Hi Will, Another busy mouse month with 10 mice and 2 rats trapped on Grassy saddle. Unfortunately I lost a trap and tunnel during the month, vanished with no sign so probably something human
needed it more than me. Cheers Bruce

Mike Oliver Reports: Mike’s Gully Lines: 7 mice, 1 rat.
(On Mike’s Fire Lookout Lines: ( 2 mice, & 5 possums – these lines are not included in the gully catches).

Will Reports: Over several days this month, Kevin & I planted all the donated plants from Ross McDonald, about 96 to 100 and very good specimens they were too. We also met up with Steve Richards of TDC, who brought us up todate with their plans for the area above where we work.

Note: Don’t spell part backwards. It’s a trap.

This months total Gully Catches: 31 mice, 8 rats, 1 possum and 1 other.

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