A man in New Zealand thinks it’s better to create your own piece of paradise than to move to a natural one and just taking it over. Back in 1987 Hugh Wilson moved to a neglected part of the country where the natural environment was not doing well and has since turned it into a veritable paradise. He did so by respecting and encouraging native plants and using a permaculture approach to cultivation. It’s great work and very impressive! Not only did he set out to save a small part of the world, he also wants to encourage everyone to make a small piece of natural paradise in their own space too.
The incredible story of how degraded gorse-infested farmland has been regenerated back into beautiful New Zealand native forest over the course of 30 years.
Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a 30-minute documentary about Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.
Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.