In 2006, students at Weber School in the Tararua District completed a research project with the help of an adult mentor.
Khan Coleman’s project involved researching the protection of an area of bush in Wimbledon with a QEII covenant.
The landowner, Brian Hales, supported him in reaching his goal.
During Khan’s field research, he made an amazing discovery; he found two specimens of the rare peripatus.
At the age of 12, Khan won first equal place in the 2006 YHA Young Conservationist Awards for finding these caterpillar-like creatures and for his efforts in protecting their habitat.
In January, 0.3ha of primary podocarp-broadleaved forest named Khans Bush was protected by Brian with a QEII covenant.
Above: Khan Coleman and Brian Hales at Khans Bush, protected in perpetuity with a QEII covenant. The fence was constructed with contributions from the landowner, Horizons Regional Council and QEII. Photo: Bill Wallace
Students from Weber School laid the fence line and on each post is a nameplate of the child who laid it.
There are also a number of carved totara guardians around the covenant, representing those involved with protecting the bush including QEII and Horizons.
Left: Khan and Brian with Khan’s carved totara guardian.
‘It is awesome that protecting this bush as a habitat for peripatus was Khan’s initiative,’ says Brian.
‘It’s all about a young boy making a discovery which created a need to protect the habitat forever.
'The children from Weber School will be able to come back in seventy years time and still find the bush here.’
Above: The threatened peripatus (ngaokeoke, velvet worm) is an ancient forest creature in the Onychophora order, a sister group to the arthropods.
Found only in the southern hemisphere, peripatus is nocturnal and lives in leaf litter and rotten logs. Photo: Bill Wallace
You may have a special area on your farm that you wish to safeguard forever. Contact your local QEII representative ...
Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 73, July 2008 © QEII National Trust