Young pine cullers needed

22:19, Mar 26 2014
Greg McIntyre
Greg McIntyre gets to grips with the Wakatipu's wilding pine problem during a community organised cull of the exotic invader in Sawpit Gully.

A community-organised wilding pine cull was a success at the weekend, but the organiser is calling for more Generation Y participation in another upcoming cull.

Arrowtown's Ange van der Laan organised the cull after seeing a lone, older figure chopping down wilding pines recently, and had 27 people turn out to cull pines on Coronet Peak Station on March 22.

''It was a great turnout and we really got stuck into some quite large pines in Sawpit Gully,'' she said.

''We cleared a huge swathe, but there's a lot more work to do.''

Those who turned out for the cull were mostly older people and families with young children.

Given that wilding pines were a current problem that left unchecked would affect future generations, Ms van der Laan was hoping for more representation from ''Generation Y'' in the next cull, scheduled to happen in the next three or four weeks.


''We had a really good assortment of people who came along for the day, but there wasn't anyone representing the 20s and 30s, and it would be really nice to some younger folks out there tackling this problem.''

Taking part in the cull was easy. Participants meet at Arrowtown at 10am, walked 45 minutes to Eichardt Flat and worked through until the afternoon.

Participants were asked to bring lunch but water and gloves, tools and extra gloves were provided.

However, another wilding pine cull, which comes with the bonus of a free helicopter and gondola ride, will happen on Saturday, April 15, with Sunday, April 16 as a weather cover day.

Organised by the Wilding Conifer Group, 30 fit, active people who can cope with rough terrain are needed.

Co-ordinator Grant McLennan said about 10 people had already registered.

The group would fly into the Ben Lomond basin, work through until mid-afternoon and walk out again afterwards. 

People should be prepared to work in rough terrain with lots of spiny undergrowth and walk back to the Skyline complex along a steep downhill descent.

The helicopter will start ferrying people to the work site at 9am. 


The Southland Times