A Rocha: Caring for Creation – with Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman

Are you a Christian who also cares for the earth?

This week our topic is a Christian perspective on caring for the earth, focusing on Dunedin‘s A Rocha group and my guest is Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman, who is Minister of Church of Christ in Dunedin and a Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Dunedin.

Selwyn is also Chair of the Dunedin Branch of A Rocha, an international organisation whose purpose is environmental conservation.

“A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand, is part of the A Rocha family of Christian environmental conservation organizations which currently operates in 20 countries around the world. As a family, we focus on environmental science and research, practical nature conservation, environmental education, creation care and advocacy through a variety of programmes and initiatives.” Aotearoa NZ A Rocha.

Selwyn believes that care of the Earth is an integral part of the concerns of christian theology, and he based his PhD on this topic which will be published later this year!

I’m keen to find out more about what A Rocha are up to in Dunedin, about Selwyn’s spiritual beliefs and how Selwyn expresses his environmental beliefs in his personal life.

For more information, go to A Rocha Dunedin.

Listen to this programme on A ROCHA

A ROCHA was first aired on the 29th March 2019 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Sustainable Dunedin City with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Dr Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

Photo source: A Rocha

Gorse to Forest – with guest Hugh Wilson, Hinewai Reserve

Using gorse as a nursery plant to regenerate native forest is about working lightly with nature instead of toiling against it. To record this show I went to Banks Peninsula to talk to botanist Hugh Wilson, Manager of Hinewai Reserve near Akaroa. On the large, mostly grassed hills of Banks Peninsula, it is enlivening and enlightening to see the native blanket of forest that makes up Hinewai  Reserve. In this area, there is over 1000ha of bush with plenty of birds, lots of cicadas as you’ll hear, and gorse.

Gorse is Hinewai’s temporary visitor while it acts as a nursery plant to natives that come on wind and in bird droppings. Once natives comes through, they shade the gorse out and it dies. Except along paths and borders, no gorse needs to be burned, slashed or poisoned. And no natives need to be planted, or weeded.

Hugh tells me about what practices they use. This is one of New Zealand’s conservation stories that needs to be heard and replicated!

Listen to this programme on GORSE TO FOREST  HERE

GORSE TO FOREST was first aired on the 7th March 2019 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Sustainable Dunedin City with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Dr Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

Along the Arboretum, this old gorse gets a sign to recognise its role as a natives nursery plant.

 

Hugh Wilson on Hinewai Reserve, Banks Peninsula.

Living with New Zealand Sealions – with guest Jim Fyfe, DoC

Are you hoping to encounter a New Zealand Sealion at the beach this summer? I can’t think of a more impressive creature on our beaches than this majestic animal. The males can get up to 450kg – that is a mighty mass of muscle and blubber! But behind their appearance, they are an intelligent and socially complex species. If you live here you will know that Dunedin in New Zealand is a great place to come to see  NZ Sealions. This is because Dunedin is one of their few mainland breeding sites.

This show is essentially about sharing our space with these magnificant creatures as well as other wildlife.

How are NZ sealions faring as a population and how are they doing here in Dunedin? What can we do to give them the best chance of thriving, whilst also enjoying being able to see them? How should we behave around them?

On today’s show I have Jim Fyfe live in the studio with me. Jim is a Biodiversity Ranger for the Department of Conservation and is based here in Dunedin. For 20 years Jim has been heavily involved with the day to day protection of marine species around our coastline.

Listen to this programme on NZ SEALIONS HERE

For more information:

NZ SEALIONS was first aired on the 10th January 2019 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Sustainable Dunedin City with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Dr Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

© NZ sealion pup with her mother. Taken by Maureen Howard near Allens Beach, Dunedin.

 

Urban Trapping of Introduced Possums – with guest Kate Tanner

Our native flora and fauna did not evolve alongside mammals which is one of the reasons they are particularly vulnerable to mammalian predators such rats, stoats and yes even hedgehogs and possums.

Although we brought these mammals here, the only thing that is now protecting most of our native birds from being killed and eaten – is us! Today’s programme is about the urban trapping programme that is being carried out by the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Trust. It’s an ambitious project to free the Otago Peninsula of introduced possums so that nature can better flourish once again. With determination, funding and a lot of people power it increasingly seems to be an achievable goal. On this show, I am keen to talk to Kate Tanner their Volunteer Coordinator about what she does, and how we can get involved.

You can listen to this programme on URBAN TRAPPING HERE

URBAN TRAPPING was first aired on the 30th August 2018 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Taste Nature  with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

 

TASTE NATURE

nzonair

 

Managing Setbacks in Urban Restoration – with Hendrik Koch

With more than 50% of New Zealanders living in cities, and cities encroaching on rural and wild spaces, incorporating nature into our urban design is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, nature can ameliorate many of our urban problems. Trees and green space reduce stormwater run off. And they reduce the temperatures in concrete dominated cityscapes. Just as important, spending time in nature make us happier. Nature improves the mental and physical health of us and our children.

And of course we have a duty to make space for the other species we share this planet with.

My guest on this show is Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with The Dunedin Environment Centre Trust. Hendrik has a background in successful urban restoration particularly in the Kaikorai Valley area of Dunedin. If you have been to the Shetland Street Communtity Gardens or to the Kaikorai Wetland Reserve across the road you will know what a special place this area has become. I loved it so much, I used to run the sustainable living field trips there for the SLP class participants.

Unfortunately there has been a big setback, with a new sewerage renewal project that is going to impinge significantly on the area. I asked Hendrik to tell me more.

This show was recorded on the 15th June 2017

To listen to this programme about MANAGING SETBACKS IN URBAN RESTORATION please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=61821466-3b68-499c-ac3a-66d20535a003

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 6th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with the Dunedin Environment Centre Trust (DECT)

 

Look out for the bridge leading to the community gardens

The Kaikorai Common Reserve is just across the road from the community gardens – on Shetland Street

Protecting the Old Irish Goat – with Joe and Helen

All goats are great! But the Old Irish Goat is particulary special. It is the original landrace breed of goat in Ireland, believed now through genetic testing to go back to the times of neolithic people in Ireland.

The Old Irish Goat Society has been formed to protect it. In June while hitching round the west coast of Ireland, I went in search of this wonderful goat. I was not disappointed!

In Westport in Co. Mayo, I met with Joe O’Grady who is in charge of day to day husbandry for the main captive breeding population. I then went to Mulranny where the Old Irish Goat Society has its headquarters and shop. I spoke with volunteer Helen Walker there.

Join me as I find out more about this wonderful breed, why it is important to our sustainability and resilience, and how important it is that we do more to protect it.

To listen to this programme about PROTECTING THE OLD IRISH GOAT please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=1b8a8337-fd6e-4d74-b79d-ba64fe16a5be

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 27th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

For more information

One of the magnificant Old Irish Goats I saw that is part of a breeding programme to assist this landrace breed.

Joe O’Grady who is in charge of day to day husbandry for the goats kept in Westport in Co Mayo.

Helen Walker, Volunteer, with the Old Irish Goat Society – at the Craft Shop in Mulranny

Craft and Information Centre for the Old Irish Goat Society at Mulranny

Mulranny is a picturesque small community. In the hills around Mulranny, Old Irish Goats have been found that are not contaminated with more modern breeds.

Its breeding season for the Old Irish Goats

 

Rewilding England’s wildflower habitats – with Bryan Raines

Growing up in Northern Ireland, my dad used to take us on a spring Sunday afternoon to a magical place he called Bluebell Wood. I can’t remember where it was, but it must have been one of the few wooded areas locally where native bluebells blossom under native trees.

As well as looking beautiful, wildflower ecosystems are important forage for bees and critical for a range of species of native butterflies and other insects. In turn, these provide food for birds and reptiles.

In the UK, these habitats should be particularly special to us Humans because they have co-existed with human pastoral activity for thousands of years. Unfortunately with modern monocultural chemical farming practices, wildflower ecosystems have drastically declined in the UK.

On this show recorded in early March 2017, I chat with Bryan Raines from Test Valley in Hampshire, England, about the methods he, with the help of his wife Uli,  has used to restore a variety of wildflower habitats on what was just bare grassland when their property was purchased some 20 years ago. It‘s a great success story, thanks to Bryan and Uli’s dedication, with 35 different species of butterfly reported seen on the property – each species adapted to the different wildflower ecosystems that have been created.

To listen to this programme about WILDFLOWER HABITATS please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=1cd41220-2090-4468-8723-ce2f12c39af5

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

This show was originally broadcast on the 6th April 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Bryan Raines

Bryan in a wood he has rewilded. Once livestock were excluded, the bluebells returned from dormant seed.

A variety of livestock allowed temporarily onto the land, are an essential part of restoring and maintaining wildflower ecosystems.