WCG News Summer 2023

Date: 1st December 2023

Graeme Watson- WCG Executive Member, Keynote Speaker at WPN 2023 Conference.

I spent 40 years farming thinking gorse was the worst weed in my life, how wrong was I… 

… After a long time farming, I leased the farm out and was offered a job with QEII Trust, plus I was working as a fishing guide in Southland/Otago. My area for QEII trust was from the Catlins on the South coast to Queenstown. I thought then Rowans/barberry/holly/sycamore were serious weeds in QEII covenants, and they were in some areas, but nothing like wildings. An example (a 400-year-old matai with 20 to 30 Kereru sitting on branches spreading holly seeds) and sycamores and rowan in the beech forest near the Mataura River… My radar really started to home in on wildings big time while working for QEII… 

… I made a couple of trips driving round and flying over the Soho Mahu Whenua area with Russel Hamilton and Neill Simpson, they reinforced wilding pines are the worst weed we have. (that’s when the bell rang) We stopped for lunch, but we spent most of that time pulling wilding Douglas fir…

… For my recreation I enjoy skiing and fishing. I try and ski a few days a week on Coronet Peak and the thought of that ski field and surrounding areas being covered in Douglas Fir is shocking…

Continue reading


  • Images showing pest tree removal waypoints
  • Otago Regional Council – Cost Benefit Analysis 12 October 2023
  • Ben Lomond Volunteer Support Project 2023
  • Wilding Pine Network conference presentations link
  • Volunteer Co-ordinator update
  • Nick Ledgard’s Corner
  • New WCG videos
  • Useful links and media articles

Read newsletter

Posted in: News