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Protecting our precious places

Historic Southland fence retained

Forming a fine landscape feature on a rolling hill country sheep and beef farm at Mokoreta in Southland, Taylor's Bush was protected with a 31ha QEII covenant in July 2008.

Naming the covenant after his parents, George Taylor protected the forest to recognise the land management of his father before him and to reflect his own love of the area.

The protected forest remnant Photo: Gay Munro

Above: George with his parents, Betty and Vic Taylor, and the protected podocarp-broadleaf forest beyond.

Before bush or wetlands can be protected with a QEII covenant, cost-effective fencing is generally required to exclude browsing animals such as cattle, sheep and deer.

At Taylor’s Bush, 130m of an old style rabbit netting fence built in the 1950s was retained as part of the covenant fence, forming an historical record of the hardships of farming in days gone by.

‘This covenant reflects the Taylor family's wonderful appreciation of their bush,’ says Gay Munro, QEII Southland Regional Representative.

Old rabbit fence Photo: Gay Munro

Above: George and Vic Taylor next to the old rabbit fence that was erected by Vic in 1953 to enable him to make a living off the farm.

George says the only trees taken out of the area were the few totara felled for the fence posts.

It was unique at that time for the rimu and matai not to have been milled.

New netting fence Photo: Gay Munro

Above: With QEII and the Taylors contributing to the cost, George managed the building of the new 760m netting fence protecting the covenant, including the clearing of the line with an excavator.

Old fence upgraded Photo: Gay Munro

Above: Pictured here in 2007 during a good Southland frost, the old fence is now upgraded with an electric outrigger to stop pressure from stock.

It should remain sound for at least another 20 years.

All Photos: Gay Munro

Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 75, March 2009 © QEII National Trust

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