Living Legends boosts Bushy Pt

The restoration of Otatara's native forest was given another boost by the Living Legends project at the weekend.

Otatara Landcare Group member Cathy Macfie said yesterday more than 200 people pitched in to plant native trees at the Bushy Pt restoration area.

About 2000 plants were put in on Saturday, following on from the 500-odd planted by schoolchildren on Friday.

The Otatara Landcare Group was dedicated to restoring Bushy Pt to its former glory and the Living Legends project, which started last year as part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations and includes Southland rugby legend Kevin Laidlaw, had sped that process up exponentially, Mrs Macfie said. "I think for the Otatara Landcare Group, it's made possible in a very short time, what would have taken us years to achieve," she said.

Once, Otatara was much more forested but that declined after milling in the 19th century.

However, since the project began there had been a noticeable increase in the amount of wildlife in the area and the forest was becoming more established, she said.

"It just adds to the quality of our lives and restores it to the way it once was."

A project to clean up the Kingswell Creek also took place on Saturday and Saint John Girls' School junior classes and year 6 pupils also planted 500 native trees at the Thomsons Bush reserve on Thursday.

The Southland Times