Hamlins Hill with KCC
The story as written by Robin Weller, aged 6:
“I went to KCC. First we got under a tree because it was raining and we went on a hill and it is called Hamlin Hill. It is half farm, half park, half forest and we planted lots of trees and we walked in the forest and I had fun and I did lots and lots of holes for the trees and there was lots of old trees and the walk was long”
On Sunday, finally there was a Kiwi Conservation Club event. I don't know why but it has been almost a year since the last event and Robin has been missing them.
But on Sunday it was all on at Hamlins Hill, which was fascinating because it is located on Great South Road heading towards Sylvia Park and I have driven past here thousands of times and never visited.
It was just Robin and myself today, and we stopped briefly into Sylvia Park where there happened to be a Radio Station promotion, where Robin spun a wheel and won a $10 Sylvia Park voucher which was a small bonus.
On arrival there was quite a number of kids, around 10 plus parents. Just as we were getting an introduction talk by the Auckland Council Ranger a huge rain shower went over, so everyone went into hiding beneath a large tree which surprising covered us all easily.
Hamlin Hill is now an Auckland Council Park (through half is owned by the Government), but used to be two farms. There are still some cattle kept in the park and a number of trees are being planted in the valleys and around the edges, so when you drive along SH1 there is a great forested area you get to drive past and not just another empty field.
Once the rain stopped we all walked over to the other side of the park through the farm land where a range of manuka trees had been laid on the ground for the kids to plant. Well they really under estimated the power of the kids I can tell you. At the beginning they said we could go for about 90 minutes to 2 hours and see how the kids felt; well within 20 minutes all the trees had been planted!
So the Ranger and the volunteer who was helping out were rushing around getting more trees to plant, and more fabric mats. The activity was all over after just over an hour and heaps had been done. The Ranger was impressed - and says she should have guessed KCC members would be keen. It just shows that it is not about size but numbers that can make a big difference. Robin planted 5 manuka trees and a flax over this time.
It was then a gentle walk back to the cars through the trees, which had been planted in the 1990's. I really like history and was surprised to find some historic English style hedges amongst the trees. It turns out that the early settlers used hawthorn, so amougst all this native NZ regrowing bush are these 100 year plus hawthorn trees growing in straight lines - very amusing to see.
It was then back to the car and to head home.
Robin had a lot of fun and boy did he work hard, and now as we drive past the Mt Wellington turnoff we can appreciate the trees that Robin has planted and will be there for the future!