Forest & Bird honours North Shore planters

27 Jun 2011

Forest & Bird has awarded its Golden Spade planting award to its North Shore branch for its project to restore the Tuff Crater Reserve at Northcote in Auckland.

The Tuff Crater Restoration Project is centred on an extinct volcano which surrounds a tidal basin. The Auckland Council-owned reserve lies next to the northern motorway and is passed by many thousands of commuters every day.

Forest & Bird volunteers have been clearing weeds and planting in the reserve area known as the Millenium Forest since 2000. In 2009 work started on the daunting task of clearing an area around the crater of weeds and replanting natives.

In the last year, more than 3000 native trees and other plants have been planted by volunteers from Forest & Bird and the local community. A total of 160 people attended the last community working day.

The award was presented to Forest & Bird North Shore branch representatives Richard Hursthouse, Anne Denny and Claire Stevens by Forest & Bird President Barry Wards at the organisation’s annual conference in Wellington this weekend.

Richard Hursthouse, the chairman of the branch and one of the leaders of the restoration project says the project is heavily reliant on the support of the community and funders.

“With a project like this we are totally reliant on funding, and you have to have the support from a decent group of volunteers, and we have been able to attract good support from local residents,” he said.

The reserve of nearly 31 hectares has been broken up into eight management areas to be restored over an initial 10-year timeline. The project involves removing vast numbers of weeds, controlling pests and replanting with eco-sourced native vegetation.

The reserve is also part of the Auckland North-West Wildlink, a partnership between Forest & Bird and local and central government agencies to develop a chain of safe habitats and bird corridors from the Hauraki Gulf islands and Whangaparaoa in the east through to the Waitakere Ranges in the west.

Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird has 50 branches around New Zealand, and most have community revegetation projects in which thousands of native trees are planted every year.