Project News

A big turn out at Bream Head Scenic Reserve for Planting Day

June 19, 2023

Over 100 people, young and old, armed with spades turned up at Urquhart’s Bay car park last Sunday ready to plant 2000 trees at Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

“It was a bit of an operation to get all the trees at Home Bay, as the ground was still too

soggy to drive them via the track to the planting site. Luckily we were offered the use of a

boat by one of our volunteers and managed to get the trees on site on Saturday, ready for

planting day on Sunday”, says ranger Tom Grinsted.

Sunday turned out to be great planting weather. “Next time we walk through here these trees

will be big”, Darcy King (6) said; he joined the planting event with mum Alicia who said that

she is happy to do their part. Another enthusiastic tree planter was Wendy Bown who is

used to running the track. “I love trees and like to see the change in the ecosystem”, she


It was the first planting day since the myrtle rust outbreak in 2017, which prohibited Bream

Head/Te Whara Conservation Trust from obtaining trees from outside the Reserve.

As a result the Trust started their own nursery with the help of locals Rupert and Wendy

Newbold who offered the use of their land, which borders the Reserve. The Trust also

secured funding from Te Uru Rākau, The WWF and the Tindall Foundation.

“We source our seeds from the Reserve, therefore ensuring these trees have the best

chance of surviving,” says ranger Tom Grinsted, who's in charge of the nursery. “It was

heartening to see many families with young children joining the day. These young kids will

carry on our ecological vision. Many people will enjoy the results of their work in years to


Dane Higgison, year 6 teacher from Whangarei Heads School, has also shown interest in

the nursery. “We are lucky our school is in this beautiful environment and we want our

tamariki to learn about the importance of nature and what bit they can do to restore the

ecology. The Trust gets them involved in planting the seeds, taking care of the seedlings and

planting the trees when ready.”

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