Eskdale Reserve restoration
Significance of the reserve
Eskdale Reserve is classified as a ‘High Value’ site and a Significant Ecological Area under the Auckland Council Unitary Plan.
The initial inspiration and continued focus for Kaipātiki Project’s restoration work lies in the Eskdale Reserve Network. These reserves combined (approx. 74h) are one of the most unique urban forest eco systems and the largest urban forest in Tāmaki Makaurau ecological region. Forming part of the North-West Wildlink, they provide large areas of continuous urban native vegetation. The network encompasses depleted Kauri podsols on the ridgeline through broadleaf/podocarp forest, down to saltwater edge plants, including one of the few remaining swamps in Auckland containing Swamp Maire (Myrtle family) a rarity and treasured species threatened by Myrtle Rust.
The ongoing work by volunteers and community contributes to rare sightings of freshwater mussels and a giant kōkopu over the past few years (only the second sighting in living memory in Auckland).
Eskdale Reserve contains good examples of riparian forest and kauri broadleaved-podocarp associations. It also provides a riparian buffer to Eskdale stream and links with Oruamo stream. Natural areas are extremely vulnerable to weed invasion, pest impacts, fragmentation, wind exposure, and physical isolation from similar areas.
The experienced Kaipātiki Project Restoration Team facilitates volunteer activities year round in the reserve that contribute to Predator Free 2050, the reduction of invasive weed species and improving native eco-systems. We partner with Māori to understand how matauranga Māori can improve environmental outcomes for the area and incorporate this into our work. We adopt a chemical free approach to all our restoration activities.
Our adjacent native plant nursery supports our restoration activities by growing plants from seeds collected in the reserve and then planting in the reserve to increase native biodiversity and provide forest candy for birds and bugs.
Our Stream Care programme supports our restoration goals by providing regular freshwater monitoring of the stream flowing through the reserve.