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Waste, rubbish dumped in reserve

Dumped ivy in Masterton’s Millennium Reserve could play havoc on the native plant life should the tenacious weed take root.

The reserve is owned by the Masterton Trust Lands Trust [MTLT] and is managed by volunteers from the local community group Friends of the Millennium Forest Reserve.

A member of the group [who preferred to stay anonymous] approached the Times-Age after seeing Friday’s story on a regional waste dumping issue.

They said that yesterday morning, they found several piles of ivy discarded in the reserve, as well as a cardboard and a rusty swingball pole.

“If that ivy took root, it would go rampant,” the volunteer said

“It’s just laziness. They’re just cleaning out their backyard and dumping it here when we have a big enough job of looking after the space as it is.”

The Department of Conservation [DOC] lists ivy as an invasive weed due to its ability to compete with native plants and take over areas.

“English Ivy can cling to and climb over any surface,” DOC’s website states.

“This weed climbs over plants and trees to reach very high in the forest, smothering and even killing them.” The volunteer said that in the 30 years they have been involved with the group, the issue of rubbish dumping has crept up before.

“We don’t want it to be an ongoing issue; we would like whoever it was to please come back in and pick it up to properly dispose of it.”

MTLT manager Andrew Croskery said the trust has regular communication with the group.

“The volunteers are a great group; they put a huge amount of effort into the reserve,” Croskery said.

“I don’t know why people would dump stuff in the reserve. It’s not like you can drive in there.

“I think they know what they’re doing, and they know it’s not right.”

The reserve entails just over 5 hectares of land, and Croskery said the work to restore the land had been entirely down to the volunteers.

“They actually put in hundreds and hundreds of hours every year, they really do.”

He said an open space covenant signed by MTLT in 2002 “protects the space”.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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