The Wildside story started 25 years ago, when a Banks Peninsula farmer set out to protect the little blue penguins on his farm. Since then this project has grown to harness a whole community in protecting the special environment of the Banks Peninsula.
In 2001, the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust was formed, with the legal ability to covenant private land and manage its own conservation projects.
In 2010, a coordinator was employed to bring together the Trust’s many efforts into one cohesive project – and Wildside was born. The aims of the project were to engage and educate people, to add economic value to the land by protecting its environmental health, to protect forest habitat, stream health, native species and sites of ecological significance, and to promote marine protection.
The project has seen more than 700 predator traps set over 7000 hectares, which has enabled a dramatic turn-around in sea bird species in the area.
The Trust has also achieved protection of a whole stream through private farmland from the summit to the sea. A second stream is now being targeted.
Today, around 25 per cent of the area has been protected through covenants and reserves, allowing the forest to regenerate. The area now boasts the largest private reserve in New Zealand, Hinewai, which covers 1570 hectares.
- Date: 29 May, 2017
- Category: Community Leadership