SUPREME AWARD 2021
Supreme Award winner and Landscape and Habitat Enhancement winner
Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust
The Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust’s wilding pine programme has had a huge impact on the landscape of the Sounds as they work to restore native bush.
When this small group of volunteers formed in 2003, they were told it was impossible to get rid of the wilding pines, but fortunately that didn’t put them off.
Wilding pines are an unintended consequence of trees planted for shelter, erosion control and commercial forestry. They grow fast and take over regenerating native bush, reduce biodiversity, and change the look of the natural ridgelines.
Working with Sounds landowners, Council, Government agencies and sponsors, the Trust raises funds to hire contractors to get rid of the wildings. The crews work through the undergrowth to drill each tree and inject herbicide, or spot-spraying is done by helicopter. As the trees die and break down, the native bush and natural skyline returns.
The Trust is working across a wide area of the Sounds, including Tory Channel, Queen Charlotte Sound, Pelorus Sound and D’Urville Island.
The judges were impressed by the Trust’s ability to connect with the community and raise funds and in-kind donations. Their strong track record leads to high credibility with the community and funding agencies.
The Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust is a leader in planning and carrying out wilding pine control, and they share their knowledge generously with similar groups in the region and around the country.