What We Do

We undertake various activities under animal pest control, plant pest control, tree planting, propagation, collaboration with schools and more…

Animal Pest Control

The FOTBR have been involved in predator control work in the reserves surrounding, and in Tawa for approximately 20 years. In this time there has been an increase in birdlife and the health of the bush.

The predator control group are responsible for servicing approximately 25 traps and 90 bait stations.

Target predators include possums, rats, mustelids (weasels and stoats) and hedgehogs.

Trap.nz shows more information on trapping activity in the area.

You can see previous reports on Animal Pest Control below (click to read the post)

The Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves predator control activity complements Pest Free Tawa‘s work in the residential area.

Pest Free Tawa

Interested in becoming a backyard pest warrior and helping bring back our native bird populations ?

Why not join Pest Free Tawa and obtain a backyard rat trap.  

See their FaceBook page Pest Free Tawa for further information.

Planting Trees

Our Aim is to:

Plant locally appropriate eco-sourced species to restore and buffer existing bush reserves.

Richard will supply content for here


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Plant Propagation Nursery

Propogation unit March 2021

The plant propagation unit is a new project for FOTBR.  It has been up and running since the end of February 2021.

We currently have a few hundred plants and small trees that started their life in peoples back yards and at Tawa College, but we have big plans . We will eventually have a couple of thousand plants on site. 

We are collecting seed from local reserves , growing them into seedlings and then raising them into trees that will eventually be planted back into the reserves. We certainly have plenty of scope for planting in the reserves – particularly in Woodburn reserve and Te Ngahere o Tawa – there is years of work to be done in these two places alone! 

Keen to help? Contact us

Below are some of our previous posts on the plant nursery action.

Schools Project

Partnerships with Schools:

As part of our strategic plan ‘The Friends’ would like to foster a long-term partnership with the local Tawa schools.  

We believe that these partnerships would not only assist in the learning of young students but also develop an understanding and appreciation of unique Tawa environment.  This objective aligns with the Kahui Ako, ‘community of learning’ strategy that has been implemented in the Tawa region.

This partnership could take several forms:

  • A school visit by a member of the group ‘The Friends’
  • A field trip to nearby Bush Reserve
  • Helping with a school/ Friends based project.
  • Partnering in a long term project

We envisage our input could strengthen learning in conjunction with a current topic being taught at the school, such as an environmental topic.  ‘The Friends’ could tailor each interaction to meet the needs of your school. Depending on the learning cycle ‘The Friends’ could assist on an annual or bi-annual basis.

If your school would be interested in further discussing partnership options, environmental, or ecosystem teaching, and any future projects. Please contact secretary@tawabush.org.nz

Weed Control

Tawa weed busters, Stepping Out walks article image

Pest plants and weeds are a constant challenge!

As part our our Strategic Plan efforts, we focus on several key areas:

  • Undertake release weeding of restoration planting within the working bee framework
  • Reporting of weed incursions to the appropriate agency is undertaken when necessary
  • Undertake weed control in forest disturbance areas within the working bee framework
  • Ongoing monitoring and control of new weed incursions is undertaken within forested areas


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No dumping garden waste weeds sign

When you’re out in the garden, remember:

– weeds aren’t just a problem in your own back yard – they also threaten natural areas  

Nearly three quarters of invasive weeds are garden escapees.  

Some common weeds and how to deal with them:

Many garden plants can become invasive and are easily spread by birds.   Introduced from other parts of the world, they are often more weedy in New Zealand than in their home country. Please check your property and remove potentially invasive plants.   You can download “A guide to recognising and controlling invasive weeds” here.

Visit the Weedbusters web site for further weed information and news.

Important note

The following pest plants are categorised for Total Control and targeted for eradication from the Wellington region:


Greater Wellington Regional Council will control any of these plants anywhere they are found across in the Wellington region as they want to get rid of them completely.  If you see one of these pest plants then note the location, take a photo if you can, and contact them on 0800 496 734 or email pest.plants@gw.govt.nz.

You can find out more about the pest plants included in the Greater Wellington Regional Pest Control Strategy here.

While GWRC undertake direct control of targeted pest plants in specific areas, others need to be managed by people on their own properties.

They can help to control these species:

If you see one of these pest plants then note the location, take a photo if you can, and contact them on 0800 496 734 or email pest.plants@gw.govt.nz.

Working Bees

A vital part of the work of Friends of Tawa Bush. Regular weekend working-bees are planned on the 2nd Sunday afternoon of each month, commencing at 1.30 p.m.  A mid-week working-bee is also held on the 4th Tuesday afternoon of each month, commencing at 1.30 p.m.

Members are invited to participate in these activities to improve the public access tracks, to undertake tree planting, weeding around planted trees, or pest plant removal.

Note – The Willowbank Reserve Care Group have working-bees also, see below.

Information about Willowbank Reserve Care Group

Our group has been working in the Willowbank Reserve near the Takapu Rd railway station over the last few years. Our aim is to make the Reserve more aesthetically pleasing and to improve the indigenous biodiversity and stream ecosystem while connecting people to the natural environment.

To achieve this we are working on the removal of invasive weeds such as tradescantia, convolvulus and blackberry and replanting with appropriate native plants for the area.

We invite people who use the Reserve whether cycling, running, walking your dog/s etc or passing through on the way to the railway station to

Join us on the:

First and Third Thursday of every Month

From 9.30 am to 11:30am

Meet in Car Park by the Public Toilets

Weather permitting – wear appropriate clothing

For further information contact Email: willowbankreserve.caregroup@gmail.com

Willowbank Working Bee images

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