Snowdon's Bush needs your help!
Live in or near Brightwater? Would you like to get involved in helping Snowdon's Bush to flourish?
If you value this local asset, and are concerned that it flourishes into the future, then please come to a public meeting being organised by The Nelson Tasman Climate Forum at Brightwater School at 7pm on 27th July. We will discuss the pressures that the bush reserve is under, and what can be done through local efforts to improve the situation. One option is to establish a 'Friends of Snowden's Bush' group to work with the Department of Conservation in caring for the reserve.
Snowden’s Bush reserve is a rare example of the podocarp forest that once covered much of the area. Although it has been considerably modified over time, it is one of the last surviving native lowland bush areas of the Waimea Plains, covering over five hectares on Waimea West Road in Brightwater. The Snowden's Bush Trust is to be congratulated on the purchase of the adjacent land to add to the Reserve.
The Reserve is dominated by mighty totara, titoki and matai, some of them several hundred years old. A diverse understory has flourished since stock grazing ceased in 1972. The regeneration project that began in 1988 has seen the return of tui, bellbirds and kereru to the area.
The trees are a seed source for local plant nurseries, and both the old and regenerating bush provide natural habitats for native wildlife. On top of this, it is an important and dearly loved community asset for Brightwater.
However, the reserve does not look after itself. There are problems with noxious weeds, especially around the edges, and with invasive predators. More recently, the forest has suffered from water stress, caused by a combination of changing land use and climate change. The last two years have seen these stresses become more severe. There is a need to replant areas of the bush, and a thick coverage of trees around the perimeter will reduce wind through the trees, and thus water loss.