Nurturing the native environment

Last updated 05:00 20/10/2012
REGENERATION: New trees growing all by themselves.

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Mahana is the name of the place where I live.

Located in Raukawa in rural Hawke's Bay, halfway between Hastings and Waipukurau, it is the only significant bit of native cover you can see as your plane descends towards Napier.

My (now late) wife and I fenced off 25 hectares of her parents' farm in 1998 and began growing and planting ecosourced seedlings. Nowadays, my daughter helps me. 

We've made considerable progress, and some of the early species now up to 5m tall and some natural regeneration is starting to occur. Where blackberry is a cover, new seedlings are starting to poke through as well.

In addition we fenced off a boggy area of about 4.5 hectares that starts on our place and goes through into my daughter's farm, where we often lost stock through becoming mired. We lost a little feed and in its fifth year this wetland is starting to look as though there could be a forest developing there.

I built a shade house when we started and we now have two hardening-off areas. My daughter works and is a mum and I am retired but we manage to grow 1000 seedlings per year. 

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