Tag Archives: The Forest Bridge Trust

Update on Fencing Projects – 2017

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2017 has been a busy year as the Trust works alongside local landowners to fence wetlands, streams and bush.  Below is brief update on some of the projects we have been working on:

Steve Dill
We are currently fencing off a large wetland and stream that runs to the Hoteo River. To date we have completed 2450 metres of electric fencing around the wetland.  There is still a small section to complete but this will not happen until the summer months, due to the very wet conditions. This small section has been fenced with temporary hot wires to keep all stock out.

3000 trees were donated to this project by Reconnecting Northland and were planted at a friends and family community planting day on Sunday 18 June 2017.

Cheryl Dill
This involves fencing a 5.3ha remnant native bush block that runs alongside the Hoteo River for approximately 900 meters.  Fencing was completed earlier in the year and  was done using 4 wire electric fencing.

Tony Rogers
We plan to complete this area of riparian fencing and native bush protection by the end of this year

Wendy Wech
1000 metres of 7 wire post and batten fencing has been completed to protect an area of Hoteo River riparian margin.  Also both sides of a stream to protect an Inanga spawning site that connects to the Hoteo.

A further area of approximately 360m will be completed if funds permit. This will protect another joining riparian bush remnant alongside the Hoteo River

As always thanks to our funders for helping to make these projects possible – Auckland Council’s Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Fund and Reconnecting Northland.


Trapping Underway in Point Wells – 26 February

The Forest Bridge Trust teamed up with the Point Wells Community & Ratepayers Association to deliver a pest control workshop at the Point Wells Hall on Sunday.

22 locals from around Point Wells enjoyed a day of practical learning. Experts spoke about the importance of protecting our native wildlife by trapping pests and predators and a range of traps were on hand for demonstrations.  Those that were keen to try their hand at trapping at home, were also able to take traps home after the workshop, which will kick off the village-wide pest control programme for this community.

A range of pests have been detected around the area, including rats, possums, hedgehogs and stoats – less of these will encourage wildlife back into the area, especially with local source populations like Tawharanui Regional Park.

Special thanks must also go to the Warkworth Hospice who provided the catering.

Leigh Community Keen On Pest Control – 21 October

A record breaking crowd of 47 people arrived at the Leigh hall on Sunday October 16th to learn about pest control.

CatchIT coodinator Liz Maire said “It was a fantastic number of people.  Everyone was super enthusiastic about making a difference in their local environment”

As well as the many individuals in attendance, there were also representatives from local community groups already working hard for their environment.  Groups such as Pakiri Landcare, Whangateau Harbour Care, and Leigh Harbour Valley Restoration society.

Cam Rathe was also present at the workshop.  Cam is helping out the The Forest Bridge Trust as a Pest Control Advisor.  He is providing one on one technical pest control support to landowners in the Trust priority area.

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Ahuroa locals enjoy CatchIT Workshop – 18 October

Rain held off just long enough for 19 people from the Ahuroa community to enjoy a practical pest control workshop on Sunday 9th October.

Topics included everything from possums, throuahuroa-workshop-oct-2016-17gh to wasps and cats.  Everyone seemed to be having issues with possums, so this was definitely the hot topic of the day.

There was a great range of traps on show and many people took up the opportunity to take home a possum or mustelid trap.

Trapper Joe provided plenty of advice on pest control techniques and methods, and answered questions along the way.  He also threw in some great snippets of information which you may not have heard before:

Did yahuroa-workshop-oct-2016-27ou know that NZ once exported live possums to Korea?  They were known in Korea as ‘apple-eating tree bears’!

Did you know that possums will often stay browsing on one tree?  The more the possum stresses the tree, the richer the nutrients become in the stuggling leaves and bark.  The possums farm the tree for ‘superfood’ and only move on to the next tree when it dies.

The day was a great success with landowners keen to network and help each other reduce pest numbers.  Hopefully they will soon see the benefits of pest control, when wildlife like kaka and pigeon return.

If you weren’t able to make the workshop but are keen to do some pest control on your property,  email us at theforestbridgetrust@gmail.com






Ahuroa School Student takes CatchIT Schools to Red Beach – 11 October 2016

Ahuroa School student Dylan Hunt was so motivated by the CatchIT Schools programme he decided to spread the word to other kids outside his school.

Dylan’s class was part of the CatchIT Schools pilot programme at Ahuroa School in Term 2 this year. This involved the students learning about pests – and the hard time native species are having. They then took action by becoming hands on trappers in their own backyards. Students were encouraged to experiment and use bar charts and to analyse their results to improve their trapping success.

Dylan was so motivated by what he learnt from the programme, he decided to create a powerpoint presentation about his experience.  However he didn’t stop there.  He then gained permission to visit Red Beach Primary School for the day where he visited each class at the school, telling them about trapping pests and the fun he was having with the science and statistics side of the programme.

CatchIT Schools Educator, Liz Maire tagged along for some of the class visits. 

“Dylan not only told people what it was like to be involved in the programme, he also made them realise why he was doing it and how much fun it could be.  He’s an enthusiastic trapper and a born communicator!” Liz Maire, CatchIT Schools Educator

Click on the link below to see Dylan’s presentation


Dylan during one of the Red Beach class visits
Dylan showing a rat trap to Red Beach Primary School students

Help CatchIT Schools Win a WWF Conservation Innovation Award – 5 October 2016

The Forest Bridge Trust has entered the CatchIT Schools programme into the WWF Conservation Innovation Awards.  Winners receive prizes worth $25,000.

You can help us by visiting the WWF site and voting for us!

CatchIT Schools is entered under the heading of “Traps, Rats and Stats – a trapping programme for school children“.

Each entry has to answer a conservation problem or issue. CatchIT Schools is attempting to solve the issue of motivating and engaging younger people and their whanau in sustained community pest control.

To vote or make a comment go to:


You will need to sign in (if you have done so before) or register if not

  • Go to the top right of the webpage where it says register / sign in, follow the instructions
  • Then you can go to the awards page and look at the entries
  • Click on the vote button at the top right hand side of the entry (the thumbs up symbol) and it’s OK to vote for another project – honest!
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page to comment (we need comments too).

Feel free to pass this on through your friends and networks. With your help we could take out the top prize!

Matakana Pest Control Workshop–25 September 2016

Even the onset of daylight saving didn’t stop over 20 folk from the Matakana community coming along to hear Joe the trapper talk about how to get rid of pests at the CatchIT communities workshop on Sunday 25th September.

People went home happy with a free trap or two. There were lots of connections made as well, with the idea of forming networks to support each other and bring neighbours on board. We even had kaka flying overhead to salute us!matakana-workshop-sept-2016-joe-cribbens-demos-a-doc-200-trap

Join us at the next pest control workshops:

Ahuroa Hall, 9th Oct , 9.15am to 12.30pm
Leigh Hall, 16th Oct, 9.15 to 12.30pm



Landowner Workshop Meeting—21 July 2016

Today was one of the most important days on The Forest Bridge Trust calendar—the day we bring together interested landowners from the Hoteo catchment to tell them about what we have been doing and to get their input on projects we should focus on over the next year.

The meeting was held at the Wellsford Community Centre and almost forty landowners and other interested parties attended.  The Forest Bridge trustees and advisors hosted the meeting.

The day started with registration and a chance for everyone to get acquainted over morning tea.


It was a great opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends and network.







We convened at ten and started by having each participant give a brief introduction and describe their interests and objectives for the meeting.



Kevin Adshead, Forest Bridge Trust chairman, then introduced the trustees, advisors and TFBT administrator, Tracy Tristram.  He then gave an overview of the Trust’s activities for the year and thanked our supporters.


Trustee Gill Adshead then described the Trust’s fundraising activities and talked about some of the contested funds that are available to help landowners protect the bush on their properties.

Liz Maire gave a presentation about the CatchIT Schools and CatchIT Communities programmes in which we have trained local rural school children about pests and pest control and provided them with traps to do trapping at home.


Guest speaker Mark Bellingham of Terra Nova Planning talked briefly about transferrable titles and how they can be used to assist rural landowners to protect native bush on their properties.


Chris Floyd of the QE II Open Spaces Trust gave an interesting presentation on how the QE II covenant process works and the benefits of protecting valuable bush with a QE II covenant.


Rachel Griffiths of the Auckland Council gave a quick update on changes in the Auckland Council staff and structure and how those changes may affect landowners.


We ended the morning session with a very interesting presentation by Kim Jones, National Coordinator of the Whitebait Connection programme of the Mountains to the Sea Conservation Trust.  Kim has been involved in an extensive project to study inanga spawning habitats on the Hoteo River and she shared her findings on locating, protecting and restoring habitats along the river.


We then broke for lunch and a chance to discuss the morning sessions.


After lunch, it was the participants’ turn to work!

Auckland Council had generously provided us with several large maps of the Hoteo catchment and we asked the participants to work in groups to study the area where their properties are located and to come up with possible projects for the Trust to focus on over the coming months.  Liz explained the criteria the Trust uses to prioritise projects and asked the group to keep them in mind as they discussed issues in their areas.

The participants broke into groups and used highlighters and sticky notes to identify potential projects on the maps.









After the participants had a chance to thoroughly discuss issues, Liz helped them summarise projects and opportunities.


Gill then wrapped up the session by thanking the participants and speakers and talking about some of the actions the Trust will be taking as a result of the meeting today.


We’d like to thank Jenny Hood for the wonderful lunch.  And we especially want to thank all of the participants who took time during a busy time of the year to spend the day with us and share their very valuable and interesting insights.  We look forward to working with you over the coming years as we make the forest bridge from the Kaipara to the Pacific a reality.

Community Pest Control Workshops—February – March 2016

During February and March, The Forest Bridge Trust held three community pest control workshops.  The workshops were held in Kaipara Flats, Tauhoa and Tomarata.

Landowners in the Hoteo catchment were invited and the objectives of each session were to (1) inform the community about the existence, goals and objectives of The Forest Bridge Trust, (2) describe the introduced predators that harm native New Zealand plants and animals and how to deal with them, (3) demonstrate the use of traps to control predators and (4) distribute traps to interested landowners so that they can initiate or expand predator control on their properties.

The sessions were led by TFBT trustee and education coordinator Liz Maire.  Liz was assisted by fellow trustees Kevin and Gill Adshead and by Glenn and Joe, experienced professional trappers.

Liz opened each session by having the participants introduce themselves and introducing the trustees who explained the background and objectives of The Forest Bridge Trust.


The trappers then provided an overview of the different types of predators people might encounter on their properties and explained their behaviour and the damage they do.


This was followed by a demonstration of various traps and trapping techniques.







Participants were given the chance to get some experience setting the traps.





Participants were invited to take traps to use in their pest control efforts.  Thanks to TFBTs fundraising efforts, the Trust is able to provide a few traps to the community free of charge to get them started.




Liz closed each session by explaining the TFBT CatchIT programme in schools and the Walk the Line app which enables us to do GPS monitoring of traps and provides the ability to record catch activity for further analysis.

A total of 46 community members attended the three sessions and 51 traps were distributed for deployment in the field.

For further information or assistance in trapping on your property, please contact The Forest Bridge Trust at theforestbridgetrust@gmail.com




A Walk in Scott and Phillipa Innes’ Bush–8 November 2015

The week of 1-8 November was Conservation Week and the theme for this year was “Healthy Nature Healthy People.” Dozens of events around the country were held to encourage people to get outside, discover new places and to experience the power of nature to invigorate, refresh, and amaze us and be beneficial for body and mind.

On 8 November, with the help of the Department of Conservation, Auckland Council and many volunteers, The Forest Bridge Trust advisor Scott Innes and his wife Phillipa, hosted a community walk in the magnificent native bush on their property.  Scott’s bush is a prime example of the sorts of mature bush on working farms that The Forest Bridge Trust seeks to protect, enhance and connect.

It was great to see a lot of familiar faces and also meet lots of wonderful new people.1The plan for the day was to take a guided walk through the bush followed by some country hospitality.  The first task was to haul up the quad bike that would transport the afternoon tea into the bush!2We greeted guests at the woolshed and gave them a safety checklist and briefing and had them sign an indemnity form.  Forest Bridge Trustees and advisors Kevin & Gill Adshead, John & Geraldine Taylor, Liz Maire and Shona Myers joined Scott and Phillipa to greet the guests and answer any questions about the Forest Bridge Trust.34Over thirty people joined us for the walk which was guided by our local botanist extraordinaire Maureen Young and neighbouring farm forester and  keen botanist, Gordon Perry.

There was a lot to see on the walk and some amazing views.  The guests got a good panoramic view of Scott’s bush from the end of the airstrip.5

And then took the walk down (and up) for a closer look.

6Here is a view from the top of the property looking south, with Atuanui in the background and to the right.  In the left background is bush on Tony Rodger’s property, for which the Forest Bridge Trust is seeking funding for fencing.  In the foreground is Scott’s bush and several other bush remnants—lots of fencing to do!7The previous week, Kevin and Scott, along with Chris Floyd of the QEII trust, Gordon Perry and John Lambert did a recon and mapped out a route for today’s walk.   Unfortunately Chris and John couldn’t be with us for the walk today.8It wasn’t the easiest of walks through the bush as there is no formed track but there were some great things to see.

Here is a patch of tutukiwi, or green hooded orchids.9

And some New Zealand clematis:


Here is Maureen showing Scott and Phillippa’s  two girls, Mary and Lucy, some tutukiwi when we did our recon walk.

11Mary and Lucy are now budding botanists! They were at a birthday party so didn’t join us for the walk this time but came in time for afternoon tea.12

Here is John Lambert explaining an interesting bit of New Zealand botany.

13Maureen explains how to identify different types of tree ferns.  She was delighted to spot a Dicksonia tree fern on our recon trip.  The Dicksonia tree fern usually grows in colder climates but is found in a few isolated areas in Northland – Scott’s bush is one of them!16Gill and Phillipa (with the help of the quad bike) had set up afternoon tea in a beautiful spot near the Hoteo River.14The country hospitality included scones with jam and cream (whipped during the bumpy trip from the woolshed on the trailer), chocolate brownies, chocolate chip biscuits, sultana cake, passionfruit cake, lemon slice, gluten free  muffins .

Drinks included homemade lemon cordial, tea and coffees of various sorts supplied by Nestle NZ.

1515We want to thank everyone who came along for a great day of exploring New Zealand native bush and for their contributions to our fencing efforts.  And a big thank you to Scott and Phillipa for hosting the day.  Also, we’d like to thank Julia Watson of the Auckland Botanic Gardens who shared her photos of the day, some of which have been included in this report.

The Forest Bridge Trust is committed to assisting farmers and landowners to fence and protect valuable bush like the one  we explored today.