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'Ranfurly Shield Of Conservation'

Canterbury Nurseryman Wins 'Ranfurly Shield Of Conservation'


The manager of Canterbury's Motukarara Nursery, Jorge Santos, has been awarded the Loder Cup for the year 2000, Conservation Minister Hon Sandra Lee announced today.

"It is fitting that a Canterbury person should be the recipient of what is commonly regarded as the 'Ranfurly Shield of Conservation'," Ms Lee said.

The Loder Cup, New Zealand's premier conservation award, honours people and organisations for their outstanding contribution to conservation.

Englishman Gerald Loder donated the cup in 1926 to encourage and honour New Zealanders who worked to investigate, promote and cherish the country's indigenous plants and animals.

"The award goes this year to Jorge Santos for his outstanding work in helping to return native plants, some threatened with extinction, to their rightful place in the landscapes of the South Island," Ms Lee said.

"This year Mr Santos will be coordinating a $25,000 project as part of the $2.5m conservation awareness package, one of a raft of projects confirmed by the Government yesterday," she said.

"He will be developing a user-friendly native plant restoration and protection resource kit for farmers, community groups, and local bodies around New Zealand."

The Conservation Minister said Portugese born Mr Santos came to New Zealand in 1974, and has lived in Canterbury for the past 17 years.

He manages the Department of Conservation's native plant nursery at Motukarara at the base of Bank's Peninsula.

Ms Lee said although DOC now serviced the judging panel for the Loder Cup, the panel reached its decision entirely independently of both the Minister and the Department of Conservation.

"The nursery is at the hub of work underway to restore the diverse and unique native plant communities which extend like a patchwork quilt across the Canterbury region," Ms Lee said.

"The long-term vision is to restore distinctive landscapes that could otherwise be lost to Canterbury and other parts of the South Island."

She says a key part of this work involves educating the community to use locally sourced native plants instead of exotic species.

The nursery's annual open day in April attracts thousands of visitors from throughout North Canterbury as well as other parts of the South Island.

Recent recipients of the Loder Cup include horticulturalist Chris Rance and her husband Brian of Southland (1999) who created a community garden and nursery on their property for some of the most threatened Southland plants, and the Auckland-based Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi (1998) who turned the Hauraki Gulf island into a haven for endangered birds.

Ends

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