The public has helped save an area of native forest in Northland after a crowdfunding campaign raised more than $160,000.
The Native Forest Restoration Trust, along with the public, has bought 112 hectares of bush in the Wekaweka Valley, which backs onto the Waipoua Forest – home to New Zealand’s largest tree, Tane Mahuta.
Trust general manager Sandy Crichton said the five existing landowners offered the section to the Trust for $185,000, on the condition it was a speedy purchase.
With only enough in the kitty for a deposit, they turned to crowdfunding and brought Duane Major and Adam Gardner from the Awaroa Inlet ‘Buy a Beach’ campaign on board.
Within just a few months, the public had raised $166,000.
People felt compelled to help because they wanted to see the native bush regenerated for future generations, Crichton said.
“They wanted it for their children and their grandchildren to enjoy.”
It was one of the Trust’s most successful fundraising campaigns in its 37-year history.
The property has a existing native forest and parts of it were selectively logged in the past, but work has already begun to regenerate those areas.
The forest would become a reserve and efforts will be made to trap pests and fence out stock.