South of Takapau, the 0.85ha Bram Bush covenant was put in place by the Poulton family on their 475ha sheep and beef farm in October 2009.
Funding is now being sought for a three-year revegetation programme to reinstate this severely degraded treeland that contains one of only five mature rata trees remaining in the northern Puketoi Ecological District.
Right: The significant rata in Bram Bush is at the northern limit of the distribution range of rata in lowland Tararua-Hawke’s Bay.
This tree may be locally adapted to the dry environment conditions.
A restoration plan developed with support from ecologists Gerry Kessels and Britta Deichmann and the Biodiversity Advice Fund recommends replanting areas dominated by rank grass with 3,800 plants, establishing locally sourced rata trees, maintaining long term pest and weed control programmes and ongoing monitoring of the restoration plan.
The covenant was part of the densely forested tract known as ‘Seventy Mile Bush’ that once extended from Masterton to Norsewood but was largely cleared in the late 19th century for farming.
‘This is the only piece of bush left on the property,’ says David Poulton.
‘A joint effort between landowners and agencies such as QEII is the only way to keep these areas.’
Above: David Poulton and his sons at the treeland.
Above: The 8-wire (1 electric) covenant fence was constructed with contributions from QEII, Horizons Regional Council and the landowners.
Photos: Bill Wallace
Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 78, March 2010 © QEII National Trust