The 20th May was the deadline for this purchase and we are absolutely delighted to confirm that this has now gone through and we will have a new reserve near Otatara which will be protected for all New Zealanders forever.
This appeal has been a real challenge for NFRT. We were first notified about this property earlier in the year and like many of these opportunities time was not on our side. We started fundraising in late February, about the same time as New Zealand announced its first case of Covid-19, and none of us knew how fast everything would change.
With the far reaching effects of Covid-19, an incredibly short timeframe and a $1.5 million price we were always going to be up against it but incredibly we still managed to raise well over $810,000. This site is just too important and so we must save all of the most valuable remnants of dune totara forest and as much of the area for restoration as possible. The details will be worked out over the next few weeks, but the really good news is that we have raised enough to secure the majority of the site and all the most valuable areas for nature conservation.
None of this would be possible without the support and generosity of our supporters. We’ve said it before, but it really is incredible the impact we can have when we all work together. This very rare and important ecosystem will now be protected for generations to come who will be able to experience its beauty, and the joy of seeing native species such as the fernbird.
There’s still a lot to work through before we can provide safe public access to the reserve but once we are in a position to do this and Covid-19 restrictions permit, we’ll arrange an official opening ceremony.
Of course, purchasing the land is just the first step – we will also be providing interpretive signage, a walking track and fencing as well as putting in place long-term pest and weed control measures to ensure that native trees can grow and flourish. We’ll also be planting to restore the forest to its former glory.
Thank you so much for everything you do to help protect our native forests!