Rural Design Limited 1984 Animal Pest Control Programmes

From a long experience working in the natural environment Rural Design Limited know that mammalian pests pose a serious issue to the health and establishment of naturally existing and newly planted native flora as well as native fauna.

Rats, rabbits, possums and livestock pose a large threat to successful restoration work. Eradication/control are generally the landowner’s responsibility and it may be necessary to have a pest control program to achieve eventual canopy closure, high plant survival rates and maintenance of existing areas of native forest. 

One year of intensive control undertaken by Rural Design Limited will help reduce local pest numbers. Short term monitoring and maintenance can determine the course of future requirements.

 A possum ( Trichosurus vulpecula ) caught in a Timms Trap near the Dome Forest, which are both very effective for the control of possum and feral cats ( Felis catus ).

A possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) caught in a Timms Trap near the Dome Forest, which are both very effective for the control of possum and feral cats (Felis catus).

 A fine example of the natural regeneration of tawapou  (Planchonella costata)  a threatened species   listed as at risk (NZPCN, 2018)   growing in a coastal location north of Auckland. The ability of this species seeds to germinate relies on low rat numbers as the seeds are easily consumed by kiore ( Rattus exulans ), ship rat ( Rattus rattus ) and Norway rat ( Rattus norvegicus ).

A fine example of the natural regeneration of tawapou (Planchonella costata) a threatened species listed as at risk (NZPCN, 2018) growing in a coastal location north of Auckland. The ability of this species seeds to germinate relies on low rat numbers as the seeds are easily consumed by kiore (Rattus exulans), ship rat (Rattus rattus) and Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus).

Seed collection in full swing at Rural Design

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Rural Design is hard at work collecting seed for 2018 and the 2019 growing season. Ecologists Heath Worsfold and Jack Warden have been investigating seed collection of a New Zealand native vine. Puawananga ('flower of the skies') is a native woody climber in the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, best known for its very attractive  white flowers. The plants produce either a male or female flower. The flowering of this species was also said to be an indication to Maori of the coming of spring and the harvest of tuna (eel).

For further reading please see:

http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1683

http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/new-plant-page/native-clematis.html

https://maoriplantuse.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/PeoplePlantsDetails.aspx?firstcome=firstcome&PKey=2B97E94F-17FF-49CF-9C75-7F8E06966163

Farewell to our Rangatira

This post won't be long as many thoughts, videos, pictures, memories, anecdotes have been shared over the past two weeks since Bill Worsfold (our husband, father, colleague and friend) passed away. As the co-founder of Rural Design, Bill was a forward thinker. His love was the whenua and its patterns. This passion grew into a business aimed at spreading the gospel of sustainable land use. 

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A celebration of his life was held on Wednesday the 18th of January at the family farm where Bill grew up, raised his family, implemented his vision and recently, passed away. Bill's final words before his death were 'I'm home'. While a sad day for his many friends and family, the message that shone through was that Bill was a man of both the people and the land. He shared a 40 year love with his wife Beverly and they cherished their four sons, all of whom have followed the philosophy of their father.

Bill had a love of the community and through his business and links with his sons friends, touched the lives of many youth. He enjoyed helping people; Eden commented during his speech, "how Dad had become more content when Rural Design was able to keep employees on over the quieter summer months." The large cross section of people present at the funeral was a positive reflection on the life Bill led, and how he was viewed by the wider community. Bill will be sorely missed by all those he touched. His legacy lives on through his whanau, farm, and Rural Design. 

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