Sign a tribute to hard work

Kew Bush restoration veterans John Tait (left) and Alan MacPherson with the newly placed sign. Photo: Supplied

DECADES of restorative work at Kew Bush in South Invercargill has been recognised with the placement of a new sign.

The walking track at the back of Southland Hospital has provided many with a place to reflect and spend time in nature.

However, it was not always that way; volunteer work which began more than 20 years ago shaped the QEII Trust covenant to what it is now.

The sign was unveiled last weekend during a Southland Ecological Restoration Network field day.

It explains the values of the bush and some of its history, and also acknowledged the particular work of Alan MacPherson and John Tait.

Speaking of his involvement in the bush’s restoration, Mr MacPherson’s pride in its development was particularly evident when describing the increase in birdsong.

Many native species call the kahikatea forest remnant home, including piwakawaka, tui, korimako and kereru to name some.

Mr MacPherson said the big challenge when they first began was clearing all the holly.

“The birds were carrying the seeds in.

“What we did when we were younger has paid off now.”

Network member Gay Munro said there were about 40 people at the unveiling.

“With the removal of holly, blackberry, ivy, Chilean flame creeper; numerous native plants being propagated and planted, generally around the edge of the forest; and the control of possums, rats and mustelids, ration work now had the Kew Bush remnant in a much better place.

She said pest control work for invasive plants and animals would be ongoing, which was why setting up the recently formed Friends of Kew Bush group was so important.

  • Anyone interested in helping with this work or finding out more about it should check out the Friends of Kew Bush Facebook page or email