Author(s): Hugh D. Wilson
Many years ago Hugh Wilson had a dream. A renowned South Island botanist and conservationalist, he dreamt of restoring a patch of Banks Peninsula to its original preistine condition. Twenty-five years later his vision has almost come to fruition. From a gorse-covered block, with a small remnant of ancient bush, he and a group of enthusiastic helpers have created the Hinewai Nature Reserve, a wonderful wilderness which has become one of the trasures of Banks Peninsula, renowned not only in the South Island but throughout the whole of New Zealand. Written originally in his clear long-hand script, this book is comprised of extracts from Hugh Wilson's regular newsletter to the many supporters of the reserve. It vividly describes Hinewai's always slow, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately triumphant metamorphosis from scubby, gorse-covered pasture into pristine New Zealand bush, containing nearly all the plant species and many of the birds that once inhabited the steep hills of Banks Peninsula. A robust conservationalist, Wilson's enthusiasm for his Garden of Eden is conveyed to the reader through quirly humour and skilful line drawings to the natural world around him. This book will become a classic of natural history writing in New Zealand.
'New bird sightings, new tracks, new waterfalls, new plants. ..It may seem surprising that after nearly ten years new discoveries at Hinewai Reserve continue unabated. It shouldn't. One thousand hectares of regenerating forest on intricate terrain in a landscape like S.E. Banks Peninsula contain inexhaustible capacity for surprise. You could live a whole lifetime here and never run out of new and wonderful discoveries every day.'
First published July 2002.