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help exchange   Host 16700
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Help Exchange

All Year: January 2014
Area (ha):
Persons: 4
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 16700
Region: Northland

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Last Updated: April 24, 2014

Thank you to all the volunteers that have contributed to this year's fantastic progress! The sanctuary is so much better thanks to your efforts.

At the moment, we are closed for the (southern) winter, we look forward to re-opening our doors to volunteers in early 2015. If you would like to join our team at that time, please make a reservation from our website.

Nestled on the slopes of the second highest peak in Northland, New Zealand, this nature sanctuary consists of 100 hectares of regenerating native forest. Views of the ocean, unexplored forest, and the song of native birds are just the first in the many experiences to be had.

While everyone discovers the world in their own personal way, here is what our aims to be:

* an area of protected New Zealand native forest
* a place of learning about the forest and nature
* a place of self-discovery
* a place to meet like-minded people

The nature sanctuary traces its inception to the wonder experienced while exploring various corners of the globe and to the realization that everything begins, exists, and ends in the middle of nature.

We are still at the beginning of this project and we are not the type of place where tour buses stop every hour or so. We are not aiming for that and we are not open to the general public yet. Think of the sanctuary as of an unexplored forest in which we will go to discover, observe, and learn. At the edge of the forest there are basic facilities that keep us dry and clean.

Consisting of a privately owned area consisting of 100 hectares of protected NZ native forest, we are home to many of the native species of trees and birds that require active protection from introduced predators. The native forest is classified as having national significance and no logging is allowed within the sanctuary. Local council and private funds are used for the following projects:

* fencing of the forest to prevent the entrance of the grazing cattle
* building and marking of walking tracks
* possum, stoat, ferret, and feral cat trapping

One of the aims of our nature sanctuary is to make a meaningful impact in the control of non-native predators. By keeping down the numbers of predators, the seedlings and the birds have a chance to develop and mature. Cows, possums, and feral goats browse indiscriminately while possums, stoats, ferrets and feral cats will eat eggs and young bird chicks.

We welcome volunteer help with any of the ongoing projects. Think of the sanctuary as a place of learning: learning about the forest and its creatures, learning about conservation, and most importantly learning about yourself. You will be challenged on many fronts: living off-the-grid, the weather, the impenetrable supple jack . You will also experience something that is rare these days: no traffic, the dawn/dusk chorus of New Zealand, and the expanse of an un-explored forest.

It is very rewarding to share our knowledge of the New Zealand forest with our guests and it is equally rewarding to learn about other parts of the world.

We would be delighted to have you over and work with you towards the preservation of this native forest area. Some of the tasks that you could be involved with are:

* marking and mapping forest trails
* installing and refilling bait stations
* weed control
* general help around the place (this is still a project in progress)

Expect a mix of 50% to 50% between the conservation work and the general help.

Basic accommodation (small hut) and scrumptious food is provided to all of our volunteers. No prior experience is required, just a willingness to help. If this sounds good to you and you are not afraid of the rain, mud, or wind, please contact us.

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