My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Fools and Dreamers

14 Comments

Today, I’m sharing with you a great tale of hope and rebirth. This is the story of the Hinewai Nature Reserve in New Zealand. The Reserve is privately owned and managed by the Maurice White Native Forest Trust. In 1987, the reserve’s manager, botanist Hugh Wilson, got a crazy idea. He wanted to let gorse – a sun-loving weed despised by the rural community – form a temporary ‘nurse’ canopy to give shade-tolerant plants something under which to grow. The idea was met with plenty of resistance, including fury from local farmers who worried that the weed would prove to be invasive. Wilson was called a ‘fool and a dreamer.’ But even though everyone thought he was crazy, Wilson’s plan worked. Now, more than 30 years later, the nature preserve has been reforested. The Hinewai Nature Reserve is now populated by a wide range of native plants, including hardwood trees like red beech, fuchsia, māhoe, and ribbonwood, lower-growing plants and grasses like broom, bracken, mosses, liverworts, lichens, and more than 60 species of fern, including six species of tree fern.

“The primary aim is to foster the natural regeneration of native vegetation and wildlife. We operate under a management strategy of minimal interference — that is, we allow natural succession to run its course towards a vegetation cover (nearly all forest) similar to that prevailing before the forest clearance by human settlers, first partly by Polynesian settlers from about 700 years ago, second and nearly completely by European settlers from around 1850 onwards. We remove alien elements that seriously impede the re-establishment of native flora and fauna — that is a few highly invasive and competitive exotic trees and vines and a few seriously deleterious animals, provided that their removal is practical. Otherwise we leave things alone. For example, exotic gorse is a hated weed of pastoral farming but is tolerated on Hinewai because it serves as a highly effective temporary nurse canopy for native regeneration.”

– About Hinewai

These days, Wilson is considered a local and national hero. He continues to oversee the more than 1500 hectares of native forest, which has once again become home to a wide range of birds and other wildlife. With all that glorious returned nature (and 45+ waterfalls), the Reserve is understandably popular with the public.

You can check out the Hinewai Nature Reserve on its website.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

14 thoughts on “Fools and Dreamers

  1. Fools and dreamers…they are the most remarkable people. I understand the fear of the people, though. We have kudzu…nothing kills that stuff. This; however, worked out so very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I want to go visit this place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in an kudzu area for the last 30 years. Yes, I can see some out my front door. BUT, this is a great and wonderful story. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so needed to see the scenery. It touched my soul and made me glad. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fools and Dreamers…my favourite kind of people. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is literally our back yard, only an hour from where we live in Christchurch. We’ll definitely be checking this out over summer (which is now). Thank you! : )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks lovely from the pics, I’m glad it was a successful venture. I suppose it is hard to know whether something different could be beneficial or just plain invasive. (We have “Roosevelt Weed” aka “poverty weed” here in Texas, planted as a wind break but it is an invasive water sucker and apparently catch fire easily according to a friend who is a firefighter!) That said, I would visit this reserve if given a chance!

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.