Wildland Consultants Ltd was engaged by the Department of Conservation to prepare a weed management and restoration plan for Cathedral Cove Recreation Reserve, Coromandel Peninsula. The reserve contains a network of walking tracks and has c.180,000 visitors per year.
An initial boat based survey of the coastline vegetation was followed by a land-based field survey during early 2011. Vegetation types within the project area were identified and mapped. Pest plant species within the project area were identified, and their distribution and abundance mapped and described. Viewpoints and sites of interest were identified along tracks and at other locations.
The vegetation of the reserve comprises a mixture of regenerating indigenous scrub and shrubland, maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) forest, pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) forest, puriri (Vitex lucens) forest, and gorse (Ulex europaeus) scrub. Three significant plant species are present in the reserve: Korthalsella salicornioides which has a national threat classification of At Risk-Naturally Uncommon, Coromandel tree daisy (Olearia townsonii) which is endemic to the Coromandel Peninsula, and the regionally uncommon tawapou (Planchonella costata).
Thirty-eight environmental pest plant species were recorded at the site. The most common species are maritime pine, radiata pine (Pinus radiata), gorse, pampas (Cortaderia selloana), woolly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum), brush wattle (Paraserianthes lophantha), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.), Mexican devil (Ageratina adenophora), Taiwan cherry (Prunus companulata), cotoneaster (Cotoneaster glaucophyllus), moth plant (Araujia hortorum), prickly hakea (Hakea sericea), kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), and Formosan lily (Lilium formosanum).
A Weed Management and Restoration Plan for Cathedral Cove Recreation Reserve was prepared that included:
- Thirteen restoration management units.
- Maps and descriptions of existing major weed incursions, and the composition and structure of native vegetation.
- A map and descriptions of existing and proposed tracks, open spaces, car park, interpretation panels, viewing points, and locations for restoration planting at Cathedral Cove.
- A plan for scheduled weed removal and the long-term maintenance of a weed free reserve.
- A comprehensive plan for planting and maintaining eco-sourced native species.
- Opportunities for pest animal control.
- Monitoring of vegetation, weeds, and birds.
- Estimated costs of implementing the Plan over a ten-year period.