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Wellington’s Newest Native Forest Covenant

Long Gully Bush Reserve:

Wellington’s Newest Native Forest Covenant

Today the Wellington Natural Heritage Trust welcomed world-renowned conservationist Dr David Bellamy and other guests to Long Gully Bush Reserve to celebrate covenanting the forest and to congratulate the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust on their 25th Jubilee.

“An anonymous benefactor donated the money to buy the property in 1999, and neighbours have also been very supportive,” says Wellington Natural Heritage Trustee Barbara Mitcalfe. “Some have generously undertaken to donate their bush-covered land to the Reserve, while others have agreed to manage their bush jointly with our trust, while retaining ownership.”

“The 50 hectare Long Gully Bush Reserve has seen 164 goats shot within the past 4 months,” says trustee and ecologist Dr Maggy Wassilieff. “Goats have eaten out the understorey but we are working very hard to ensure the reserve will be a safe haven for Wellington’s flora and fauna. We are raising funds to construct a goat-proof fence to protect the area from feral goats chomping through the vegetation.”

Wellington Regional Council has listed the property as a Key Native Ecosystem and has offered to assist with pest control. The forest contains regenerating rimu with groves of nikau palms and mamaku tree ferns. Lying between Brooklyn and South Karori and bordering the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Long Gully Bush Reserve will increase the area of protected native bush available for native birds to feed and nest in.

“It’s a win-win situation for both Long Gully Bush Reserve and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary,” says Dr Maggy Wassilieff.

Wellington Natural Heritage Trust chose the QEII Trust to covenant the reserve because it provides the best conservation protection in perpetuity. Long Gully Bush is the latest Wellington property to be covenanted with the QEII Trust and has doubled the area of QEII covenants in Wellington city.

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