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The new subdivisions in Cambridge that are on flat land have drainage problems, and a swale is a means of dealing with stormwater.  Being an open drain, it lends itself to planting along its edges, and this is what has happened here. For a long time, we referred to it simply as "The Swale."

Brian Mayo did a huge amount of work on this reserve, and for the Tree Trust in general. He was a founding member, and was Chairman for about 18 years. After his death in 2013 we decided to name the reserve in his honour, and the Waipa District Council agreed.


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Here are some of the plantings on this big reserve.

Since the swale was planted, there have been two droughts, and the plants suffered. Replanting is now essential, as at August 2014, and these students from St. Peters School are helping us do that. This little video shows them planting about 150 plants in under 2 hours. They were late starting because the Tree Trust's truck got bogged in unexpectedly wet ground on the way in, and they had to do what they could with plants barrowed in for about a kilometre until the truck was freed.

Survival is always a problem in an area like this, where the ground has been prepared for house building rather than planting. Here are some of the plants that have survived the summer of 2014/15.


In October 2018, Amber Nurseries gave us some surplus flowering cherries.

We decided to plant them here, but didn't tell the neighbours. We sprayed several areas to get the ground ready, and the neighbours thought we were planting more of the big clumps of trees we had planted several years earlier. They objected vigorously, and even arranged to speak at a meeting of the Cambridge Community Board. They were much happier after a site meeting, when we assured them the plantings were going to be in the style of the adjoining Maple Arboretum; i.e. open plantings of widely-spaced trees. Another meeting was held, when they and we marked out the places for the trees. The result is a joint effort that everybody is happy with. Here are some photos of this planting. Some of the neighbourhood children helped, as it was school holiday time. The sprayed brown areas will be mulched. They are laid out to acommodate the Waipa District Council's 6-metre mower.

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We are in the process of planting the stretch of reserve between the Waikato Expressway and the swale that drains the housing development next door. The idea is to abolish mowing. Unfortunately, the plants take a while to grow, and while they are doing so, the grass need to be mown. Neville has shown great skill in using a ride-on mower, and here he is for us all to see. This footage was taken on February 1, 2022.


Waipa District Council organised a huge pile of mulch to be deposited at the bend of the swale. After 3 years or so, we got tired of waiting for it to be spread. One of our members had a friend who had a tractor with a front-end loader bucket. He shifted the big pile of mulch in a couple of hours. It would have taken us months to do it by wheelbarrow.