Walking with the possum hunters
5th May Walking the possum line in Gollan Valley with the legendary possum hunters Phil Benge, Colin Dalziel, Alan Benge and Michael Louden. For over 20 years they have operated two trap lines along the bus barn track and in Gollans valley. Their weekly trapping has resulted in over 1,000 possums being culled from this area - quite some feat given possums eat 21,000 tons of foliage every night in Aotearoa.
I really enjoyed their light-hearted banter and stories forged over 70 years of friendship. It was wonderful to get off the track and see all the different ecosystems and niches - there are lots more baby trees off-piste.
Phil's outline of our itinerary:
9.30am up over the Kowhai - Fairy Gardens - Butterfly Picnic area - then north up the Gollans 1.25 km to Elbow Creek following the true left of the Gollans Stream. Lunch at Elbow Creek [return the same way but missing out the Fairy Gardens] (A recent check of the Fairy Gardens indicated that the wasps were no longer there).
3 possum caught!!