Revegetation Group

General information about the group:

(For latest information posts please see below)

The Churton Park Revegetation Group is sponsored by the Churton Park Community Association, and supported by both Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Current areas of activity and description are as follows:

1 Wingfield Reserve

The group members are undertaking the ecological restoration of a high profile area of Churton Park. Wingfield Reserve runs parallel to Middleton Road north from Wingfield Place for about 400 metres, and is very visible from Middleton Road, which is a main access route. The reserve contains one of the upper tributaries of the Porirua Stream. The site has been the focus of the group’s efforts since 2004. Before work started the reserve and stream were not visible as they were hidden beneath a thick canopy of willow trees and choked with blackberry.The reserve has been radically transformed from a weedy, overgrown and inaccessible eyesore to a healthy, accessible bush fringed waterway for people to enjoy.

At the Wingfield Reserve site the group has:

  • Established a good access route through the length of the site
  • Removed blackberry, pest plants, and problem trees such as willows, hawthorn, and macrocarpa;
  • Planted over 12000 native plants, from small streamside rushes, to kahikatea;
  • Involved the community, business groups and service clubs; and
  • Improved the habitat of the stream for native fish.

Future work:

  • The main planting at this site is now complete, but will require ongoing attention to keep pest plants under control, as well as trimming any over vigorous plants to give slower growing plants some light.
  • Some climax species will be interplanted.
  • Additional planting into the site from the Wingfield Place side.

Plants becoming established at the south end
of the site adjacent to Wingfield Place Feb 2011

                                                                              Same area July 2014

Excellent growth after 2 years February 2010

                                                                                Same area July 2014

      Planters on Saturday 7 August 2010

                                                                                 Same area July 2014 

2 Stebbings Dam Right Bank

This is a new area commenced in 2014.  The area adjacent to the top of the spillway was planted out when the dam was built.  However many of the plants did not survive.  This small project was to tidy up the area to bring it back to comply with the original landscape plan.  The group was supported by the Wellington Regional Council for this project. Planting was carried out on Arbor Day June 2014 assisted by a group of children from Churton Park School.

Stebbings Dam top of spillway July 2014

3 Lakewood Reserve at south end

Wellington City Council have been putting a lot of effort into tidying Lakewood reserve over recent years.  Many of the large trees were felled, along with extensive areas of replanting.  The group is working with WCC on this project.  The plan is to get 500 plants into the ground in 2014 to extend the existing plantings. 
There are two main areas.  The first is to plant around the edges of the currently grassed areas in the south west corner, near to the bridge. The remaining  area of grass will then be more easily mown.
The second area is to plant among the large number of flax plants that are dying due to a virus.  In this area, because some of the existing shrubs are well established, some climax tree species will be used.

Planting area adjacent to end of bridge July 2014

Planting area among existing trees and shrubs July 2014

How you can help.

Working bees held throughout the year. During the planting season (May to September), there are regular planting days (usually once a month) which anyone can attend. New members are always welcome, as is the assistance of corporate groups (such as businesses, government departments, or community groups) that want to give a half or full day back to the community, and have a great experience at the same time.

You can contact the group as detailed below to volunteer or find out when work is next planned.

Contact information

The group is led by John Morrison, ph: 477 1020 


Programme for 2019

posted 19 Jun 2019, 01:21 by CPCA Secretary

The planting for 2019 is mainly in the centre of the site along the path from the tennis court north to Westchester Drive. The planting will extend and consolidate last years planting which was adjacent to some established trees.

Planting will take place on Saturdays 8 June and 6 July, commencing at 1pm.
Park vehicles at the Tennis court car park off Lakewood Ave and meet at the actual planting area.
Gloves and tools available but bring your own if you wish.

For any queries please contact John Morrison 477 1020

Programme for work in 2018

posted 1 May 2018, 19:21 by CPCA Secretary   [ updated 1 May 2018, 19:27 ]

In late summer WCC carried out an extensive spraying programme over all of Lakewood Reserve. Some of the sprayed areas will become our planting blocks for this winter, after they have been cut-over and prepared. We are now extending north alongside the stream, and this year almost every plant will be on the flat. This is a big improvement from earlier years, when planting was on some very steep areas.
Over the summer the plants have made good growth, but as would be expected after the long dry spells, some will need to be replaced.
Once again 500 plants have been ordered from WCC.

The programme for the year is as follows:

Saturday 19 May. Cleanup day. This is to clear grass and weeds away from the existing plants.

Saturday 9 June   First planting day

Saturday 7 July   Second planting day.

All of these events will commence at 1pm, with the meeting place at the carpark for the tennis club off Lakewood Ave.
I will provide gloves and tools as appropriate.
If the weather is unsuitable, planting may be delayed to either within the following week or the following Saturday.

Fur further information please contact John Morrison or by phone 477 1020.

Good progress in 2017 with planting

posted 24 Jul 2017, 01:43 by CPCA Secretary   [ updated 24 Jul 2017, 01:54 ]

The planting work for 2017 is now complete with 500 more plants happily in the ground in Lakewood Reserve. We had good weather for both planting days and got the job done quite quickly. In addition, all the plants have been mulched and marked with stakes.
The planting now extends on the east side of the stream down to the clump of mature cabbage trees, with groups of plants between the toetoe bushes.
In addition, there has been planting to extend east on the bank at the tennis court carpark and beside the driveway. In order to fit these plants in, some areas of weeds and dead flax bushes were cleared.
This year WCC also provided some emergent trees.  These have generally been planted under the canopy of existing vegetation, which they will ultimately grow through.
Later in the year we may have to clear weeds from among these plants to give them the best conditions for rapid growth.
We have been fortunate to have the assistance earlier in the year of volunteers from "Conservation Volunteers". These are young people who come to NZ to help with conservation projects as well as to have  a holiday.

Planting on 8 July 2017 near cabbage tree group
Planting helpers on 8 July 2017

Plants mulched and marked with stakes

Plants among existing vegetation

Planting day coming up

posted 25 Jul 2016, 16:47 by CPCA Secretary

The next planting day is on

Saturday 6 August 2016 commencing at 1pm.

Park at the tennis courts, and we will meet at the "Lions Seat" which is close to where we will be planting.

The planting areas are on the flat this time, on both sides of the stream, on the north side of the cross valley path. WCC have cleared spaces between the dying flax and toetoe bushes, so the plants will get some shelter.

There are 200 plants coming this time, but should be straight forward work being on the flat.

When WCC did the clearing, many parts of the planting area have quite thick cut material lying on the ground which will make good mulch. However it will need to be raked out of the way before digging, and then put back around the plants. Because of this, some rakes will be useful.

If we get the plants in quickly there is also lots of releasing that can be done too!

If you are able to come and help on Saturday 6 August, please let me know, as it allows me to allocate tasks as people arrive.
I will provide gloves and digging implements, but feel free to bring your own.  In addition, a couple of rakes would be useful.

Please contact me at 477 1020 or

Planting now complete for 2015

posted 27 Oct 2015, 18:04 by CPCA Secretary

Another successful planting season is now complete.

Special thanks to all who came and helped on the various sites or supported the Revegetation Group in other ways.

Wingfield Reserve

Additional plants sourced from the Jay St nursery were planted on the steep slope down from Wingfield Place to replace the plants that were lost over the very dry summer. These plants have been recently released, along with the plants on the Farm Track across the centre of the site.

Stebbings Dam Right abutment.

The plants in this location also suffered badly from the dry summer. The gaps were filled also with plants from Jay St.

Lakewood Reserve South end.

The big area which slopes down from the tennis court carpark was fully planted and subsequently mulched. We are hoping that this area will not suffer too much if we get another dry summer. The balance of the planting was in the Lions Seat block, where infilling was carried out among the previous years planting. Because this area is in a flat damp area the plants should survive well. All these areas have been subsequently released and mulched by a very enthusiastic and capable group from Contact Energy.

Programme for 2016

WCC have decided that the next area to be planted will be on both sides of the stream from the bridge downstream. The toetoe plants in this area are reaching the end of their lives, so the planting will be between the old plants. This will give some protection for the new plants. In addition there will be some infilling of existing areas and releasing the smaller plants.

Planting programme for 2015

posted 6 May 2015, 21:33 by CPCA Secretary

Saturday 9 May
Wingfield Reserve on Wingfield Place side.
Infill planting to complete this area.

Saturday 13 June
Lakewood Reserve Mulch Bank
This is to complete the area started last year.

Saturday 11 July
Lakewood Reserve Carpark bank
This is a new area, being the slope down to the stream from the car park.  WCC will cut over the sprayed weeds before we plant.

Saturday 15 August
Lakewood Reserve Lions Seat Block
This is to complete the flat area between the path and stream.

All sessions commence at 1pm. Tools and gloves are provided.
New helpers always welcome.
For more information please contact John Morrison 477 1020.

Extra planting day at Lakewood Reserve

posted 12 Aug 2014, 19:19 by CPCA Secretary

Please note that planting will take place on Saturday 16 August commencing at 1pm.

Come along and lend a hand to help enhance the green heart of Churton Park.

Contact John Morrison, 477 1020 for more information.

Help Enhance the Green Heart of Churton Park- Lakewood Reserve

posted 13 Jul 2014, 01:27 by CPCA Secretary

The Churton Park re-vegetation group is now working with WCC to help with the ongoing planting in this area. Planting and mulching afternoons at Lakewood Reserve are scheduled for Saturdays 26 July and 9 August, commencing at 1pm.
Come along and lend a hand! No experience required - only enthusiasm.

Meet at the Tennis Court carpark, off Lakewood Ave.  Tools and gloves are available, but bring your own if possible. 

For further information please contact John Morrison 477 1020 or


Planting Programme for 2014

posted 12 Jul 2014, 20:32 by CPCA Secretary

The planting days scheduled for this year are as follows:

Thursday 5 June at 10am.  Stebbings Dam at top of spillway on south side. 
Plants supplied by GWRC.  This planting area is to tidy up the landscaping carried out when the dam was built, as not many plants had survived.

Saturday 28 June at 1pm Wingfield Reserve.
This is to fill in gaps from last year and extend further north on the Farm Track in the centre of the site.

As planting at Wingfield Reserve is nearing completion, WCC have invited us to move to another area to assist them in their activities.

Saturday 26 July at 1pm Lakewood Reserve south end, near to tennis courts.

Saturday 9 August at 1pm Lakewood Reserve south end near to tennis courts.

WCC have allocated the group 500 plants to further extend planting in this area.

Saturday 30 August Wingfield Reserve on Wingfield Grove side.
This area has become available as WCC are clearing holly and blackberry.

Planting now complete for 2013

posted 1 Aug 2013, 20:04 by CPCA Secretary

With three planting days, the volunteers have now planted 590 trees and shrubs.  These are made up of 540 supplied by WCC with the balance being split up flax and toetoe plants.  This now completes planting for this season.  The areas worked on were the flat area at the north end by the Office Max fence, and along the edge of the Farm Track in the middle of the site.  Now some gentle rain is required to get them well settled in.

Unfortunately we had some vandalism in the newly planted area at the north end, when about 25 plants were pulled out and thrown over the fence.  The plants were soon back in their former places, but some have been lost.  The Johnsonville Police have been advised.  If any other vandalism is noticed, please phone the Revegetation Group Coordinator, John Morrison, on 477 1020.

Next year the plantings will be from Wingfield Place, above the site, and also in the "Dell" on the south side of the start of Wingfield Place.

There will be no more planting this season, so ignore the date given in the previous post.  The next activity will be a site tidy up in September, with the date to be advised.

Thanks to all the volunteers who have contributed their time to this project.  The site is looking great, and the accrss path is well cleared and easy  to walk through.

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