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Free pest plant workshops

15 May 2018

Pest plant experts will pass on tips on how to tackle some of the Northland’s worst weeds at free workshops in Whangarei, Paparoa, Kerikeri and Coopers Beach.

This winter will be the eighth year the Northland Regional Council has held the popular three-hour workshops, which pest plant specialist Sara Brill will host over several days from Thursday 19 to Wednesday 25 July.

Joce Yeoman, one of two councillors who represent the council’s Coastal North constituency, says the council typically holds two workshops a day at each venue, with locations chosen based on demand from local communities.

Up to 200 people typically take advantage of the yearly weed workshops, learning how to better manage both land and freshwater-based pest plants; either on their own land, or properties they manage for others.

“Informative, fun and free, these workshops might be just the thing you’ve been looking for if you’ve ever wondered which weed is which, why weeds wander and what can be done about it,” Cr Yeoman says.

Sara Brill says the workshops are hands-on, but delivered in a relaxed and fun way to help people learn how best to tackle a wide variety of more than 20 pest plants.

“These include nasties like wild ginger, lantana and moth plant and the workshops also highlight the need to report freshwater weeds like salvinia and water hyacinth.”

Councillor Yeoman says each will include a short presentation, hands-on identification tips and information on control options, including chemicals and other methods.

The first workshop will be held at the regional council’s Water St, Whangarei head office on Thursday 19 July, with another there from 9am until noon on Saturday 21 July.

Next on the list will be Paparoa (at the Paparoa Memorial Hall) on Monday 23 July, followed the next day in Kerikeri at the St John Ambulance Hall (357 Kerikeri Rd).  The final workshops will be held at the St John Ambulance Hall (7 St John Rd) at Coopers Beach, Wednesday 25 July.

Councillor Yeoman says two separate three-hour workshops will be held at each weekday venue; one from 9am til noon and the other from 1-4pm, but numbers are limited to about 30 people each time so registration is essential.

Councillor Yeoman says the winter workshops are a great chance for people to plan well ahead and get ready for the busy ‘weed knockdown period’ once the warm spring growth phase starts.

People interested in attending should email Sara Brill – [email protected] – or call her directly on (09) 470 1162 to register and/or learn more about the workshops.

General information on pests – both plant and animal – is available from the council’s new pest control hub via: www.nrc.govt.nz/pestcontrolhub