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Windermere Weekend

Free 30 minute film! Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a native forest

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Fools & Dreamers is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on a peninsula near Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island, and its Kaitiaki (guardian) of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. You can watch the film in full below, or scroll down to read more about the project.

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.


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