Spade brigade

Photo credits: Neil Davies

It’s inspiring to think about the planting programme that started in 1984 on the island to help restore the native birdlife habitat. It’s impressive that over 10 years 280,000 trees were planted by volunteers, which included thirty different species of trees and shrubs. These volunteers formed the “spade brigade” and used pointed spades to plant seedlings that had germinated in the island’s nursery. It’s great to see people coming together to preserve the natural environment. Thanks to the vision of the Neil Mitchell and John Craig who thought of the idea and to the efforts of the volunteers.

The Tiritiri Matangi project changed the way conservation was done in New Zealand. Previously, only a select group of privileged scientists were involved in conservation efforts, which mostly took place in remote areas. However, this project paved the way for community-led-conservation, making it possible for everyone to be involved in conservation.

Below are the before and after photos showing the forest growth.

View from coronary hill looking north

Supporters on their way to the island

Lighthouse from Wattle Valley

Looking east over Fisherman's Bay

Top of the Wharf Road

View from the lighthouse

View from the lighthouse

Before photo - 1984, Mel Galbraith digging steps along the Wattle Track

Click on the image to visit the Auckland Museum article - A spade, a saddleback, and thousands of trees

Click on the image to read more about Tiritiri Matangi Biodiversity Plan

Click on the image to find out more about Tiritiri Matangi: A Model of Conservation - Anne Rimmer

#conservation #auckland #regeneration #TāmakiMakaurau #nature #planting