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North Canterbury Branch Field Day - Waimakariri

Thursday 28 September 2023

First up we visit Mackwell Locomotive Co, at the cutting edge of low tech. With Mackwell's advanced-steam technology you can generate clean energy from biomass. Engines, locomotives and generators are designed to secure food, transport and shelter, no matter what the future. We hope for a working exhibit complete with noise, steam and smoke and maybe a coffee machine. See more at

When and where?
Meet 10.00 am for a 10.10 am start on site at Mackwell & Co Limited, 3/54 Greywacke Road, Harewood. Approaching from N, at the Sawyers Arms roundabout on SH1 take the 3rd exit into Greywacke Rd, and travel North back the way you have come. Approaching from Harewood area at Swayers Arms Rd roundabout take the left lane turnoff into Greywacke Road. The site is a short way along Greywacke Rd, on your right. There are 2 gates with an etching of a Rhino. Take the second. No 3 is at the back of this yard. Please park outside on Greywacke Rd. Bring safety vests and boots - just in case.

We then drive towards ECan’s ‘The Sanctuary’, stopping for lunch at Bailes Island Picnic area. Bring your chair, and note there are no toilets on site.
ECan Ranger Brad Smith will meet us at 1.00pm to explore The Sanctuary area, a 30ha reserve between Coutts Island Road, Templars Island, and the Waimakariri river. Until 5yrs ago, it was mostly grey willow, poplar, blackberry and old man's beard, etc. ECan is gradually eradicating these and with the help of community groups and contractors, c. 20,000 native trees have been planted so far, towards restoring forest and wetland and habitat for birds, lizards, fish and insects. Forest & Bird has been involved since 2017, holding two planting days each spring. Two F&B Bird volunteers, one of them Bruce Craig (our Branch member) look after trap lines in the reserve in YE 2021, they took 46 possums, 61 rats, 3 stoats, 3 weasels, 65 mice and 3 feral cats. The Sanctuary has walking and cycle tracks and the 360 trail.

Getting there
Leave Mackwell’s and L onto SH1 (Johns Rd). Nth to next roundabout and take first exit L into Clearwater Ave. At next roundabout take second exit and along Clearwater Ave to the 2nd roundabout. First exit L into Rotoiti Ln, then R into Kaikainui Ln (possibly unmarked). Follow on and at T junction, L into Coutts Island Rd. Continue W 3km to Bailes Island Picnic area on your right. (By now you have earned your lunch.) 

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