Gorse to Forest – with guest Hugh Wilson, Hinewai Reserve

Using gorse as a nursery plant to regenerate native forest is about working lightly with nature instead of toiling against it. To record this show I went to Banks Peninsula to talk to botanist Hugh Wilson, Manager of Hinewai Reserve near Akaroa. On the large, mostly grassed hills of Banks Peninsula, it is enlivening and enlightening to see the native blanket of forest that makes up Hinewai  Reserve. In this area, there is over 1000ha of bush with plenty of birds, lots of cicadas as you’ll hear, and gorse.

Gorse is Hinewai’s temporary visitor while it acts as a nursery plant to natives that come on wind and in bird droppings. Once natives comes through, they shade the gorse out and it dies. Except along paths and borders, no gorse needs to be burned, slashed or poisoned. And no natives need to be planted, or weeded.

Hugh tells me about what practices they use. This is one of New Zealand’s conservation stories that needs to be heard and replicated!

Listen to this programme on GORSE TO FOREST  HERE

GORSE TO FOREST was first aired on the 7th March 2019 through Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM and was supported by Sustainable Dunedin City with the assistance of New Zealand on Air. Eco Living in Action’s host Dr Maureen Howard is a Sustainable Practice Educator and Communicator at Treedom NZ

Along the Arboretum, this old gorse gets a sign to recognise its role as a natives nursery plant.


Hugh Wilson on Hinewai Reserve, Banks Peninsula.


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