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We work with the community on projects to restore bush, weed and pest control and increasing backyard biodiversity.

Bullock Track Bush

Bullock Track Bush Restoration Project

A great team of volunteers is working hard to complete this project by the start of 2024 and we’d love to have your help.

The Bullock Track Bush consists of about three hectares of scrub at the north-eastern end of Western Springs Park, next to the Old Bullock Track. This mostly sloping site includes a swamp at the bottom of the hill. Vegetation is a mixture of native and exotic species.

Our vision is to create a beautiful and locally unique environment of diverse native flora and fauna, which is representative of the Auckland region as a whole. This will be a place where native species can thrive, and people can go to relax and enjoy them in their neighbourhood. To achieve our vision we will need to substantially enhance the diversity and number of natives, eliminate weeds, remove rubbish, and control predators.

Native flora currently found on site include patches of tall Manuka and Ngaio, with scattered Tarata, Kanuka, Ponga, Te Kouka (cabbage tree), Hangehange, Kawakawa, Karamu, and a few Pohutukawa. About three dozen Kahikatea emerge through a low canopy. Understory ferns include Turawera, Matata, Pukupuku, and Huruhuruwhenua. Rauaruhe (bracken fern), Mata (water fern), Forest sedge (Carex lambertiana) and the groundcover Centella uniflora are also present. Some of these species may be remnants of Auckland vegetation prior to human arrival.

In recent years volunteers have added many new natives in the Bullock Track Bush. We have planted Flax, Pohutukawa, Totara, Rewarewa, Taraire, Puriri, Karaka, Titoki, Tarata, Kowhai, Karo, Mahoe, Houpara, Mapou, Kanuka, and Manuka. Future planting will further enhance species diversity by adding Kauri, Matai, Rimu, Pukatea, Kohekohe, Putaputaweta, Nikau, Mamaku, Wheki, Toetoe, and many more. A distinct swamp ecosystem will be created at the bottom of the hill.

One of our biggest challenges throughout this project will be weed clearance. There are dozens of exotic species on site. Tradescantia, Convolvulus, blue morning glory, Japanese honeysuckle, golden wattle, and Pampas are common. We will need many keen volunteers to assist the removal of these species. Fortunately, we know how to do this work with minimal effort. The bush will also need ongoing care and maintenance, rubbish removal, and predator control to support nesting by native birds.

We have the plan, the funding, and the expertise. With the help of volunteers we can transform the Bullock Track Bush in just three years.

Join our facebook group Forest and Bird Auckland Central Bullock Track Bush Restoration Project and join the email list for regular project updates by emailing:

a red admiral butterfly sitting on a flower

The Red Admiral is found only in New Zealand. Its Māori name is kahukura, which means "red cloak". Credit: Rod Morris.

Balmoral Heights Butterfly Park

Reviving New Zealand native butterflies, our expert Rob Jones leads this project establishing natural habitat for the purpose of providing Red and Yellow Admiral, Copper, and Long tailed blue Butterflies with a place to nest and flourish within the city.  This reserve is wonderful place to visit in the summer to catch a glimpse of these butterflies you might not otherwise see in Auckland.

We hold regular working bees in the reserve each year to maintain this habitat, planting, weeding, watering and pruning.  We always need extra pairs help at these events and welcome all those that would like to help.



Selwyn Bush

Two groups are involved with mostly clearing and weeding to promote the growth of appropriate seedlings which are coming through. Separately, a group is involved with trapping: we have two trap lines that are operated at different times of the year and inspected twice a week. Over time we have seen the catch numbers of possums and rats decline with mice holding steady. Again separately, I carry out poison baiting on a single line in pulses throughout the year.

Taumanu Reserve

We are involved solely with trapping and baiting here as weeding is carried out under contract by Wildlands. We have a single line of 30 stations that is inspected either once or twice a week. The catches are mostly of mice although we have seen a stoat there and even a ferret. As at Selwyn Bush, baiting is done in a pulsed fashion.

Nature needs your support

Supporting Forest & Bird is one of the best things you can do for New Zealand's environment. We need people like you to support us, so that nature will always have a voice.