INDEPENDENT NEWS

Weedy Mascot For Charity Dash

Published: Tue 20 Dec 2005 09:18 AM
18 December 2005
Weedy Mascot For Charity Dash
Woody Weed meets the public at the media launch
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The odds are on Woody Weed to win the mascot dash at Ellerslie Racecourse on New Years Day, reckons national Weedbusters Coordinator, Carolyn Lewis.
If Woody Weed wins or places in the mascot dash, his winnings will be donated to the Royal Forest and Bird Society, who will use the proceeds to support Weedbusting projects being undertaken by their members.


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Woody Weed has a strong finish in the warm-ups at the media launch
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Woody Weed is the mascot used by Weedbusters, an interagency programme to raise awareness about weeds and encourage and support local communities to tackle weed problems in their areas.
“Weeds are one of the most serious threats to our native flora and fauna,” says Ms Lewis. “Most of the worst weeds started off as ornamental garden plants, but have caused huge problems since ‘jumping the fence’ and invading natural areas.”
Auckland is considered one of the weediest cities in the world.
Weedy Mascot Add
Thirteen mascots are lining up for the New Year’s Day race, including Life Education Trust’s Harold the Giraffe, Buzzy Bee and Cookie Bear, but Ms Lewis says that Woody Weed’s experience will give him an edge over other competitors.
“Woody has previously competed in the Otorohanga Kiwiana Festival mascot race, where he came a respectable third against a strong field,” says Ms Lewis. “Like any successful weed, he’s very competitive, and it takes a lot to slow him down!”
DOC’s Katrina Knill, who observed Woody Weed’s form during trials last week, confirmed that the Weedbusters mascot is a firm favourite.
“Coming out of the starting gates, Woody settled into third place and set a sustainable pace for a 100m dash,” says Ms Knill. “On the big day, I expect he will take the lead easily.”


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Woody Weed in the Otorohanga Kiwiana Festival Mascot Race, 2005
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Weedbusters is supported by all regional councils and unitary authorities, the Department of Conservation, Biosecurity New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Biodiversity New Zealand, NZ Landcare Trust, Nursery and Garden Industry Association, NZ Biosecurity Institute, and NZ Plant Protection Society.
ENDS

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