Zoo staff recently rolled their sleeves up and got their hands dirty to plant 500 eco-sourced native plants in and around the Manchester Street Reserve. 

Joakim in Restoration site

Zoo staff member, Joakim stands next to a Porokaiwhiri (Pigeonwood) that was planted last year

Over the past 3 years we have been working hard with Wellington City Council to establish the Manchester Street Reserve as a restoration site. This site is next to the Zoo, in the Town Belt which means we can engage our local community in this fantastic restoration effort in Newtown and enhance Wellington’s biodiversity.

Restoration Site before pic

Restoration Site before planting and weeding had commenced

Since the start of this project, the Zoo has planted over 1,500 native specimens with the help from staff, our local community and volunteers.

Before we could start planting in this area, there was a lot of work done to remove all the rubbish and weeds from the site.

Restoration planting 2015

Zoo staff planting day in 2015

Restoration Site - September 2017

Restoration Site - September 2017

The Manchester Street Reserve is a long term commitment for the Zoo, so a few times a year our volunteers, school students and Zoo staff muck in and help out with planting and weed control in the site.

Since this space has been transformed, we have noticed an increase of bird activity from Kākā, Tūī and Kererū. We have made sure to plant native specimens including Mataī, Kohekohe, Nikau, Rewarewa, Rimu and Wineberry, as we know many of our native birds depend on these plants for survival.

Restoration planting 2015

Restoration planting day - 2015

Restoration site - 19 Sept 2017

Restoration site - September 2017

The best thing to do to encourage and attract native wildlife to our neighbourhoods is to use native plants – then the animals will follow.

A vast majority of the plants in the Manchester Street Reserve have come from the Wellington City Council’s restoration programme, as part of the Wellington Town Belt Management Plan.

Emilia plants a young Rimu seedling

Zoo staff member, Emilia plants a young Rimu seedling

We have a unique opportunity to be involved in conservation in the heart of our community and help grow biodiversity in this reserve. We can’t wait to see how much this site will develop in the future.

Wellington Zoo staff in the Restoration Site - Aug 2017

Wellington Zoo staff in the Restoration Site - Aug 2017