Native Forest Systems is a leading-edge approach to landscape-scale forest restoration. Queen Elizabeth Park and Battle Hill Farm Forest Park have collectively had tens of thousands of natives planted in them in 2019 using this new approach and we have a lot more planned for 2020 (if the COVID-19 situation allows for it).

A focus on quality means all seed is accurately eco-sourced by Groundtruth, and seedlings are monitored from sowing right up until the “free to grow” stage, where fledgling forests are signed off and left to continue growing.

Groundtruth has developed Native Forest Systems over the last seven years. This has included working collaboratively with Greater Wellington Regional Council trialling new systems in regional parks. The strong relationship between the two organisations has been critical to the success of this new system.

Native Forest Systems matches planting mixes to particular sites and ecosystems, and mimics the natural development of a native forest, only much faster. Tracking of survival and growth is undertaken over the first years to show a real forest is in place and “free to grow”.

Greater Wellington Regional Parks have been a great place to demonstrate how these forest plantings are a key part of integrated land management, where biodiversity, recreation, farming and plantation forestry goals can all coexist and complement each other.