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Tai Tapu Bush

A native restoration initiative for all to enjoy.


The planting of the thousands of seedlings was achieved through organising a progression of planting events that involved hundreds of volunteers from within the local community and from wider Canterbury.

The late Murray Mannall (owner and Managing Director of Southern Woods) was instrumental in fostering the idea of developing the bare Tai Tapu site into a native forest. The site had similar characteristics to that which contains one of the Canterbury Plain’s most significant native forest remnants – Riccarton Bush. He collected seed from this remnant and others in the area and produced the seedlings for the project.

Stephen Brailsford carried out the planning and management roles in the restoration project. He was also involved in the laying out of the planting positions and the management of the volunteer planters. Stephen now uses the emerging forest to provide environmental education to the Tai Tapu school students and others.

The high survival rate and good performance of the seedlings in the face of some extreme climatic events is testament to the efforts, skill, knowledge and dedication of Murray Mannall and Stephen Brailsford. This project provides a lasting legacy and is a very good demonstration of how to achieve environmental restoration at a community level. (Photos taken by Stephen Brailsford).

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