Posted By QEII National Trust | October 17, 2019

Our Regional Representatives have the coolest jobs! Part of their role includes visiting landowners to check in on their special protected places. Our reps take pictures to establish basic ecosystem trends over time and typically once a fence goes up and any pest or weed control is undertaken, the ecosystem condition starts to improve.

Photo locations or photopoints are recorded using GPS to ensure that the same area is photographed each time. Knowing where to put photopoints in order to record change or species of interest can be a bit of an art form.

Our Southland rep, Jesse Bythell, set up new a photopoint in Karen and Leslie Ladbrook’s covenant in 2016 to capture understory forest changes on the edge of where mānuka is giving away to broadleaf forest. These photos show the same area in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

The photopoint in 2016
The photopoint in 2017
The photopoint in 2019

Although it’s only been a few years, you can see the amazing changes that are already underway with rapid understory growth seen in the regeneration area. The forest is a mix of old growth and regenerating hardwoods, including some areas of mānuka on the edges. There are also giant southern rātā, as well as rimu, some miro and kahikatea, New Zealand’s tallest forest tree.

Karen and Leslie Ladbrook are the third landowners for this covenant, and although they are not the original covenanters, they are passionate about their special piece of protected land. Karen and Leslie are chuffed to see the regeneration coming along so well and to help their quest to bring their forest block back to life, they are very active in pest management. They even enlist the help of their dogs Cody and Moose who love running around the covenant to help sniff out possums.