Park plans for 2.5ha totara forest

A 2.5ha totara forest will be planted within the Bushtown Heritage Park at Waimate.

Bushtown Waimate is establishing the park as a tourist attraction, based on the Waimate district's pioneer timber industry.

Totara was a target species for the sawmillers who settled in Waimate in the 1800s.

James Bruce established the first steam-driven mill in 1866 at which time the totara forest harvest began in earnest.

The totara lumber sourced from Waimate gained a reputation for quality and was often shipped to many parts of New Zealand as well as internationally.

The Bushtown heritage forest project aimed to recreate the totara forests that once adorned the Waimate district's landscape.

Individuals, families, groups or companies could participate by planting totara seedlings on designated areas within the park.

Each tree will be permanently marked with a plaque and located by GPS co-ordinates.

There will be about 750 totara planting sites allocated. An additional 20,000 native colonising and podocarp species will also be planted to provide protection screening and microclimate for the totara forest.

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