News & Events

17 April 2014

Testifying to the Trust's high reputation, the position of Manager attracted a strong field of applicants from whom the clear choice was Sandy Crichton. He began work in January and has quickly become part of the team, handling our affairs with the skill and diplomacy this key position requires. Sandy, who belongs to the NZ Ecological Society and to the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management, comes with a proven record as a project manager, conservationist and protected species consultant. He has particular interests in the NZ falcon and this country&s native bats, with expertise in survey methods for these species. 'Forest & Bird' magazine carried his illustrated article "On a wing and a prayer" in its May 2009 copy. Sandy's communication skills, and background operating in or with the voluntary sector have special relevance to his appointment with the Trust.

Sandy's professional qualifications and training are well suited to his work with us. His early experience in Britain included voluntary work on an archaeological and museum project where he designed and prepared educational resource material. He went on to complete a BSc Honours degree at the University of Sussex, which has a strong reputation in the sciences, before securing a Research Assistantship with the University of Cambridge on the field behaviour of meerkats. After several years of business experience in the UK, Sandy came to New Zealand in 2003 attracted by opportunities at Otago University where he gained a Postgraduate Diploma, awarded with Distinction, in the field of Natural History Filmmaking and Communication. The endangered NZ falcon became a particular focus while working alongside the Ornithological Society in efforts to promote awareness of the bird's need for protection, especially among landowners and forestry workers. At the same time, while acting as a voluntary consultant in Otago, Sandy set up a video company, Catskill Films, to make the documentary "Karearea, the pine falcon." This won awards at many film festivals worldwide, including top awards at Reel Earth Film Festival 2009. Three years in Britain first as a filmmaker, then as an ecologist concerned with ecological surveys, habitat management and protected species conservation, preceded Sandy's return to New Zealand. We are confident that Trust supporters will welcome our new manager's part in the effective working of the Native Forests Restoration Trust.

17 March 2014

This Friday 21st March is International Day of Forests 2014!

As a charitable group, the Trust relies heavily on the help and goodwill of the public. It is only because of people like you that we are able to continue restoring and protecting New Zealand's natural heritage. If you would like to help us make a difference please consider making a donation to celebrate International Day of Forests 2014. Thanks!

03 March 2014

Our official new Facebook page is now up and running. We plan to use facebook to provide more connectivity with our supporters, providing regular reserves updates, highlighting special events and providing a platform where we can share stories, videos and photographs from reserves. We will also have contributions from Trustees, Reserves Managers, Honorary Rangers and volunteers. To follow us on Facebook please click here

04 December 2013

The Trustees are very excited to announce the appointment of Sandy Crichton as Trust Manager. Sandy has a strong background in ecology and management and will be a great addition to the team. Sandy has worked as an ecologist in the UK including project management associated with large scale reptile translocations and large-scale bat surveys. He ran his own video production company for some years and spent over three years working with the NZ falcon both as a film-maker and a consultant. The focus of his position will be to assist the Trust in the implementation of its strategic plan which has been developed over the past year. More details will be given in the next edition of Canopy.  

04 November 2013

Over Labour weekend twelve members of the Nelson/Tasman branch of Forest and Bird joined the Friends of Mangarakau Swamp for an enjoyable working and relaxing weekend at Mangarakau.  Here is an except from Anne Harvey's trip report:
 Life can be full of disappointment . . .
. . . some people, disappointed by the weather forecast never left home. Some volunteers who ignored the forecast and went to Mangarakau were disappointed they put on weight despite daily hard physical work. (legendary shared meals) Several thousand alders were disappointed to be cut, sliced and wrenched from their near perfect habitat in the swamp. I was disappointed that the chocolate covered ginger supply that someone took for the weekend ran out prematurely.
But life is also full of delights . . .
. . . Saturday afternoon 7 of us were delighted to kayak up the enchanting Wairoa River with majestic rock bluffs, lime coloured nikaus sparkling out of the darker beech bush along the sweeping curves of the river. Navigating around and over logs and rocks on our way upstream became a mere glide downstream as the high tide reached its zenith and carried us toward home. It was a ‘grunt’ to say the least to paddle the last stretch into the westerly wind ripping up the valley but, . . . certainly a delight to have experienced the primordial grandeur of mature lush natural bush towering over the river.
Malcolm and Chrissie Smith (private landowners on the edge of the swamp) were delighted to have a bunch of bold volunteers armed to the teeth with pruners, loppers and chainsaws stride across their lawn and launch themselves into the area of swamp on their property. Volunteers were delighted that Malcolm carved an access track and that he and Chrissie joined the deforestation fracas. Deforestation is my term - Forest and Bird members merely call it "weeding"!
Robyn was delighted to see a Bittern flying and called for us to look and some were delighted to lift our heads from our work in time to see it circle overhead. I guess the Bittern was a bit disappointed to not see a mouse or frog in sight and that the rounded backsides he saw from that height were not within his food group.
A dance of disappointment and delight went on for most of the weekend as 10 volunteers wrestled ‘weeds’ (some of them four times their height) out of the native swamp. Other volunteers released new plantings around the swamp with the forecasters being quite wrong, - we needed sunscreen not raincoats. Five climbed to the bluffs to explore the cave above the swamp while bird monitoring was recorded everyday at dawn and bat spotting undertaken each night.
Perhaps the greatest delight of all this Labour weekend has been the experience of being part of a co-operative collaboration between private landowners, Forest and Bird volunteers, Friends of Mangarakau and the NZ Native Forests Restoration Trust.
Robyn, Dave and Murray’s passion for this swamp has infected and influenced titled holder’s on the edge of it.
Landowners like Malcolm and Chrissie who choose to live in a remote area like Mangarakau Swamp presumably want peace and quiet and the escape from having to deal with groups of people. However, this Labour weekend they allowed a bunch of complete strangers access, - across their lawns, around and behind their sheds, scrambling down their banks to seek, disappoint and destroy self seeded alders. Even though their timber is prized in the northern hemisphere for making electric guitars they are a menace to our native NZ swamps.
A group of Kiwis with different backgrounds, beliefs and agendas led by the intrepid Ian Price from Nelson worked together as a team to eradicate and disappoint ‘weeds’ and were delighted to have supported the Mangarakau Swamp's intricate ecosystem once again.
Anne Harvey

14 June 2013

The Trust is finalising the purchases of two new reserves, one near Raglan and one in the Wekaweka Valley in Northland.   Details of the Raglan purchase are available in the latest copy of Canopy (here) and more information about the Northland property will be in the next issue.

30 April 2013

On the weekend following ANZAC Day a working bee was held at the Mangarakau Swamp in north west Nelson.   1000 trees had been raised over the previous year in order to fill in some gaps in previous plantings at Wattle Point and around the Visitor Centre.    An intrepid group from Nelson/Tasman branch of Forest and Bird travelled over from Nelson to help out with planting and all the trees were planted by Saturday afternoon.    Sunday was a more leisurely day and some of the group who had not visited before went walking while others helped out with weeding Tasmanian blackwood seedlings before attending the Annual General Meeting of Friends of Managarakau in the afternoon.   As usual the pot luck dinners on Friday and Saturday night saw the table groaning with delicious food and lots of animated conversations.   Thanks to Robyn Jones for raising the trees and Ian Price for organising the troops from Nelson.  

04 September 2012

We have achieved our first sale of Carbon Credits.

Mighty River Power is our first customer and we have sold them the credits we have accumulated on the Pigeon Bush Reserve, Rimutaka Ranges.

This is a significant step towards the future of the Trust. It is a 15 year contract with a guaranteed income flow for the Trust. It is for a significant amount that will enable the Trust to face the future with confidence that we can achieve our environmental goals.

We recognise the confidence that Mighty River Power has shown in us as a Trust, our capability, our endurance and our creditibility. A huge thanks to Mighty River Power. We look forward to a continuing partnership with them whether they are an S.O.E. or a public/private partnership.

03 November 2011

South Island supporters of NZNFRT in NW Nelson have been operating under the name of FOMS "Friends of Mangarakau Swamp" and they have now got their own website. For up-to-date news of their activities follow this link

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