Farewell Spit eco-sanctuary to be a wondrous experience
23 August 2017
Farewell Spit eco-sanctuary to be a wondrous nature experience
HealthPost and the Department of Conservation are excited about working together to establish an eco-sanctuary on Farewell Spit and adjoining public conservation land in Golden Bay.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced a new Farewell Spit HealthPost Nature Trust that will work with DOC to create the eco-sanctuary. The first stage of the project will cover a 900-hectare area at the base of Farewell Spit with plans to extend it to the Spit within five years.
Online natural health and wellness retailer HealthPost will allocate funds for the ecosystem restoration through its existing donation programme. HealthPost will donate $1 every time a customer selects the Farewell Spit HealthPost Nature Trust as their chosen charity after placing an order on the website. The company hopes to raise $100,000 a year through the online sales of natural health products to help fund this nature project.
Peter Butler, Chair of Collingwood-based HealthPost, says the aim is to create a wondrous, accessible nature sanctuary where control of predators enables native species to flourish and rare and threatened species to be re-established.
“We want to make it a place where people can interact really closely with flora and fauna they may not have seen before.
“We have discussed with DOC some exciting ideas for the reintroduction of threatened species which probably once called Farewell Spit home. But first we will have to get predator numbers down to ensure successful breeding.”
HealthPost Executive Director Dr Lucy Butler says the Farewell Spit eco-sanctuary project fits with the company’s core values of genuinely caring, not just for the wellbeing of its customers, but for the wider community and the planet.
“We’re lucky enough to be based only 20 minutes drive from Farewell Spit so we know first-hand how special it is. We want to do whatever we can to restore and enhance this incredible environment and create a safe haven for vulnerable native species.”
DOC Golden Bay Operations Manager Andrew Lamason says reducing the pressure on native species in the area from predators like rats, wild pigs and stoats could enable them to flourish. Pigs do a lot of damage to seabird colonies and native snail populations.
“We can’t wait to see people seeing and hearing the riotous, cacophonous spectacle of thousands of seabirds like fairy prions, petrels and shearwaters returning at dusk to their nests on the cliffs around Cape Farewell and departing again at dawn.”
The Farewell Spit HealthPost Nature Trust trustees are Dr Lucy Butler and Peter Butler from HealthPost, conservationist, publisher and photographer Craig Potton, and Stuart Macintosh, General Manager of Pics Peanut Butter and a trustee of the Motuihe Island sanctuary.
Craig Potton says, “This very generous offer from HealthPost will allow one of New Zealand’s most significant places - the iconic Farewell Spit and surrounds - to receive pest and weed control on a scale it deserves.
“Higher protection will be afforded to the iconic flocks of godwits and knots and wonderful flora and fauna of international significance. It’s a brilliant project”.
More information about the Farewell Spit HealthPost Nature Trust can be found at http://www.healthpost.co.nz/farewell-spit-healthpost-nature-trust