Posted on 26th May, 2017
The property has approximately three kilometres of coastal frontage including the spectacular Taurawhata headland
Tawapou was originally created as a three hundred acre farm for a returning World War One solider. However poor soil, an unreliable rainfall and Tawapou's small acreage have always made conventional farming difficult. For fifty of the one hundred years since it was created, Tawapou has been supported and protected by Dr. Katharine Bowden (and her late husband Dr. Bernard Bowden) and their family. Now, for many kilometres in either direction, farm land has been extensively subdivided.
In 2015 an agreement was reached with the WDC to preserve 94% of the property in a single title with a complete ban on further subdivision. In 2016 this protection was strengthened further with a Queen Elizabeth 11 Open Space Covenant. Creating the Open Space Covenant was an important part of ensuring the protection and enhancement of this unique piece of coastal land in perpetuity.
The property has approximately three kilometres of coastal frontage including the spectacular Taurawhata headland (the closest point on the mainland to the Poor Knights Islands). Tawapou features some of the district's largest remnant pohutukawa and coastal lowland broadleaf forest. Over the past forty years the family has undertaken pest control and over the past few years, this has been intensified greatly. This pest control has allowed the property to accommodate three kiwi releases last year with hopefully more kiwi releases to come in the very near future.
In September last year, while out collecting coastal manuka seed on the cliffs of Taurawhata, bird burrows were discovered. A night vision camera was installed and footage revealed the return to the mainland of Oi or Grey Faced Petrels. Successful predator control ensured that the last of the fledgling chicks left these burrows in late January early February. These young birds will fly to the east coast of Australia and return home to breed on Taurawhata in a few years time. This could quite possibly be the first time in eighty odd years that Oi (Grey-Faced Petrels) have successfully bred on mainland Northland.
It is the family’s vision to return Tawapou to its natural state of coastal forest and this year we have prepared Taurawhata headland for the planting of 6500 trees. These trees include flax, Karo, five finger, tree daisy, pohutukawa, tawapou and other pioneering species .
On Saturday 24th June the family are having their annual planting day on Taurawhata we would like to invite friends and volunteers to join us.
We plan to meet at Tawapou Woolshed at 9am - hail, rain or shine.
It would be great to see you! Bring a spade! Please reply by email or txt if you are keen so we can enough food and drinks for everyone .
I will put up a video of the birds shortly!!
Contact Guy on 027 2896827 for more details.