A Far North trust working to regenerate native ecosystems on the Hihi Peninsula has received a $30,000 grant to run its pest-control trapping programme across 2400 hectares of forest land.
For the last 19 years, Whakaangi Landcare Trust has been delivering conservation projects to help regenerate native ecosystems at Hihi, in Doubtless Bay.
A recent $30,000 grant from Foundation North will enable the Trust to run its pest-control trapping programme across its land.
The Whakaangi forest has many areas of untouched original bush and is home to many native tree species.
Trust treasurer Bruce Jarvis said the area's botanical diversity is significant, and by reducing pests such as possums, rats and stoats, there is an immediate benefit to native flora and fauna.
"The botanical diversity is unique because the original forest has grown in size, and the areas that were retired from farming 50 years ago have now returned to forest," Jarvis said.
"The peninsula contains flora and fauna representative of the natural environment of Northland prior to land being cleared for pasture, forestry or settlement."
He believes Whakaangi offers a "window in time" into the rich, natural biodiversity that would have been widespread in Northland.
Whakaangi contains the northernmost population of North Island brown kiwi, and numbers have risen since the trust began its trapping programme, alongside an increase in other native birds. However, Jarvis said it is not just birdlife that have benefited from this work.
"The flora - from huge kauri, rimu, and pohutakawa, to small native rare ferns - have also recovered in spectacular fashion and growth rates. This has a flow-on effect of improved air quality and enhanced experience for communities who live on or access the peninsula," he said.
"The Hihi Residents and Ratepayers Association and greater Hihi community have noticed an improvement in habitat restoration since the trust embarked on this work, which without the support from Foundation North wouldn't be possible."
Foundation North is the community trust for Auckland and Northland and distributes funding into four key focus areas: increased equity, social inclusion, regenerative environment, and community support.
Over the 2020/2021 year, it has distributed more than $49.9m to initiatives large and small.
For more information visit www.foundationnorth.org.nz