Having a positive impact on the local environment
Last week Kyle and Jamie from the New Zealand Trails team joined up with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust to help with the important project of growing and planting native tree and shrub species in the Wakatipu Basin.
Since humans first set foot in New Zealand, our native forests have been reduced by 70% and our native bird species have been reduced by 30%. The Wakatipu Reforestation Trust does such good work in protecting and restoring the native biodiversity in the area that we wanted to take time out from our daily work to lend a hand.
When our guests are touring with us, they often comment how beautiful, green and untouched much of our country is – there are many areas where you get the feeling that humankind has barely left a mark, where birdsong, lush greenery and the invigorating fresh New Zealand air gives you a true sense of what it would have been like before humans settled here.
We LOVE bringing this beautiful environment to our walking tour guests, so we were pretty excited to help ensure it stays as beautiful as it is. Our staff get their hands (quite!) dirty each month at the nursery in Jardine Park, preparing young native trees and shrubs for planting in many of the forests around Queenstown in the South Island.
This month we sent Kyle and Jamie along to help out and lend their muscles. At this time of year, the leaves are starting to turn yellow, orange and red, the mountains provide a breath-taking backdrop dusted in fresh snow and there is a cool bite to the fresh alpine air – but our brave boys turned up early to work in their New Zealand Trails t-shirts, ready to get stuck in.
Up first was the task of loading up 600 young plants onto trailers, ready for a planting session scheduled for the following weekend. The plants were a range which thrives in our challenging alpine conditions, including Kowhai, Tree Daisies, Coprosma, Flax and Broadleaf.
The Trails boys then set about transferring punnets of Coprosma seedlings into larger pots for them to grow into. These seedlings had been grown from seed on site, nurtured under an expansive shade cloth which was set up to protect them.
At morning tea, Kyle couldn’t help but kick into super-guide mode; he’d brought along a sneaky packet of Tim Tams to share with the team and instinctively demonstrated how to perform the perfect Tim Tam Slam, check out the video below:
The planting session wrapped up once the final trailer had been loaded up with freshly re-potted Coprosma seedlings. With their final task complete, the boys reflected on the significant positive impact the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust has had on the surrounding environment, with their ultimate goal being to protect and restore the biodiversity in the Wakatipu Basin and provide an environment for the famous New Zealand birdsong to flourish – we think they are well on their way to achieving this goal.
Without a doubt, this is a special process to be involved in, and Kyle and Jamie have both done the team at New Zealand Trails proud with their efforts.