On Wednesday 30th October, Somerville Intermediate hosted an Auckland Council run “Pestival”. Students and members of the community were invited and ninety people attended on the night.

This school pest free project is part of a city wide collaborative effort towards the vision of Pest Free Auckland and aims to bring back biodiversity to our gardens and local environment.

 

Prior to hosting the Pestival, all of the student Enviro leaders spent several weeks learning about pests and how they can have a devastating impact on our native plants and animals. Students placed special “trakka” tunnels around the school which have ink pads in them. When a pest walks through the tunnel to get to the food, they leave footprints which can help identify what they are. As a result of their analysis, the students placed traps in key areas and caught a number of rats.

 

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Lorrelle Stranaghan and Cate Jessep from the Auckland City Council, organised and ran the evening. We heard some interesting speakers talk about biodiversity and how to use the various types of traps and where to place them. A highlight of the evening was a talk given by one of our very own Year 8 students, Sara Adams. She captivated the audience as she described the interesting pest free activities students have done and the rats we have killed in the traps.

 

At the end, everyone received a free rat trap. Somerville Intermediate also received ten new rat traps, a rare bird poster and a “Weta Condo”. Any catches will be logged into the council website so that scientists can monitor effectiveness. Everyone is looking forward to contributing to this citizen science project.

 

Mr Read and Miss Carter would like to thank everyone involved. We are really enjoying being part of this citizen science project.