One of the most interesting parts of our property is the ridge of around 5 acres in size that juts out of the ground or more correctly that has been eroded down from a spur of the Seaward Kaikoura  Ranges behind us.
On this, we decided to build.

There had never before been any development of this space, either by Maori or white man. Here would give us amazing views across the farmlands to the sea.
Around the base of the spur there were remnants of coastal native scrub and bush but underneath  this was like a desert. The property had been used for sheep and dairy farming  since the 1800s, all the ground cover had been stripped. We decided that one of the 1st jobs to be done was to fence this area off to regenerate.We loved this pocket of native bush.
After a year to 18 months the regrowth was fantastic, all manner of native vegetation could be seen. In 2 years it was like a jungle. Our "fairy forest" (as our adopted Kenyan daughter called it) was in need of further work to make it a quiet place to spend time.This was somewhere special that needed protection.We were advised by the local council bio diversity officer Jodie Denton that assistance, advice and possibly grant money was available if we wanted to develop and keep this area safe for the future.  Eventually we decided to put this area into a QE II Trust Covenant.
This is a legal binding protection  agreement. The Trust assisted with advice, half  the fencing costs, conveyancing and title registration costs. By placing the land under a covenant meant that  although the land would still belong to us, it would be protected in perpetuity on its own title.We would be the
guardians and there could never be any development except for the planting of local native species.

Kaikoura District Council exempted land rates on the trust area (As this trust is forever,  subsequent owners will take on the  care and control). Any exotic vegetation had to be removed and the whole area fenced off to protect it.

Although this was only a small area, it was considered valuable by QE II for its content and was the 1st covenant close to town.It also had the backing of the Kaikoura District Council, who gave assistance and advice.This generated a lot of interest and other covenants followed which was very rewarding.
Kaikoura now has a large number of covenants. Many people and organisations have helped with time, expertise and money. The Hapuku Primary School (opposite us) used the planning and planting as a project for the pupils to study native plants.
Cataloguing of the flora on the site had previously been carried out by Miles Giller of the QE IITrust. We were all amazed at the diversity that this small area held.  A group of Lincoln College students worked with the Hapuku Primary School children to design and oversee the planting of the area as part of their field studies.
Around 300 native plants and trees have been purchased with the help of a grant from theTranspower Land Care Trust.
Path forming and clearing were done by the BTCV  in early 2006. This organisation consists of different groups of British volunteers who travel the world doing conservation work. ( How great is that!)
We have chosen to open the area to members of the public to enjoy. This is not compulsory, but we have chosen to do so, but please ask in advance if you wish to visit. There are paths  that wind around the dam and through the trees, with strategic contemplation spots.There are many QE IITrust covenants in New Zealand, some small, some large, but all share the same passion,  that is to protect the beauty of the native bushland and significant features of New Zealand. Take some time to have a look at this great organisation and the work that is being done.

Kaikoura is blessed with a number of areas that you can walk through and enjoy the diverse and spectacular range of flora and flora.Not only do we have these incredible land features, but sea features as well.Where else in the world do you have the mountains, the sea and the great outdoors right at your door step.
There is a lot more to Kaikoura than just whales. Come, see,
be inspired. Let us  share with you the beauty that is Kaikoura.

Go to  www.openspace.org.nz to learn more.

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