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Conservation Groups Buy Native Bush In Brooklyn

Media Release
Wellington Natural Heritage Trust
20 July 1999

LOCAL CONSERVATION GROUPS BUY NATIVE BUSH IN BROOKLYN

A newly formed coalition of Wellington conservation groups, the Wellington Natural Heritage Trust, announced today that thanks to an anonymous benefactor, it has purchased a 50-hectare block of native forest at the north end of Long Gully station in Brooklyn.

Spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer said that the coalition had approached several potential donors for funding to buy the land as a last resort after the Wellington City Council had recently refused to buy it.

"We were confident that others in the community would share our vision and help us protect this area for the benefit of Wellingtonians, now and into the future. The forest has important ecological values and recreational potential," Mr Baigent-Mercer said. "This forest is particularly significant because its boundary adjoins the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. We will now take steps to protect it from pests such as goats, pigs, deer, possums and stoats. This action will decrease the predator threat to native birds as they migrate from the sanctuary into surrounding areas, and protect the plant life."

The Wellington Natural Heritage Trust will own and manage this land as a reserve. Trustee Colin Ryder said that the Trust's first priorities are to arrange for the forest to be legally protected in perpetuity and to organise funding for goat-proof fencing, pest control and track construction. As with some other natural areas around Wellington, it is envisaged that most of this work will be undertaken by volunteers.

"Many people today enjoy the beauty and natural values of Wilton Bush, largely because of the foresight and generosity of the donor, Joe Wilton," Mr Ryder said. "The Trust will ensure that the rescue of this forest by our timely unknown donor will also result in a significant asset for Wellington".

The Trust comprises the Southern Environmental Association, Native Forest Action, Action for the Environment, Wellington Botanical Society and the Wellington Branch of Forest & Bird.

For more information contact:

Dean Baigent-Mercer: ph 383-5168 Colin Ryder: ph 478-4391; mobile 025-547-688

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