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Tors Farm helps to bring kaikomako groves back to Lyttleton

Twenty years ago, Sue and John purchased 124 hectares of land in Lyttelton’s scenic inner harbour basin. This was the beginning of a huge journey which has seen them move from fencing and regenerating the land, to growing native plants from their own seed.

For several years the couple have worked to fence and regenerate native bush while planting 200 trees from Trees That Count, thanks to members of the public funding and gifting trees into our marketplace.

However, the couple’s work took on a new focus after they read Place Names of Banks Peninsula by Gordon Ogilvie, published last year. Ogilvie writes that the valleys in the harbour basin were once filled with groves of kaikomako trees, which were one of two tree species tangata whenua used to rub together to make fire, but had largely disappeared.

Sue and John have several kaikomako trees on their property, so they decided to embark on re-establishing some of the groves. Each year they now collect seed from the bush on the property, and grow the plants themselves, with the hard work paying off as they approach their first 100 Kaikomako trees planted and surviving.

With just the two of them planting most weekends (and their dogs!), Sue and John have made incredible progress with their slice of paradise.

Their long-term mission is to provide an environment where the native bush can start to regenerate itself. Although this will take a long time, the couple considers themselves a small, but important, part of this process.

About the author

Trees That Count aims to create a national movement to plant millions of native trees to mitigate climate change. We're managed by the Project Crimson Trust in partnership with the Tindall Foundation.

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