Posted on 01st September, 2015

Sir Brian Lochore, QEII Trust Chairperson, acknowledged over fifty Whangarei landowners who protect natural features with QEII covenants on 22 July at Tawapou Farm in Matapouri.

QEII National Trust helps private landowners to protect significant natural and cultural features on their land through open space covenants in perpetuity.
The covenantors, along with representatives from Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council and the Department of Conservation, were invited to the farm to meet the QEII Board and staff and for a walk through the coastal bush protected by the Bowden family.

I noticed the fine custodianship of this land as soon as we came on to the farm

Sir Brian
Guy Bowden and Sir Brian Lochure discuss the weed and pest control.

Since 1993, the Bowdens have protected ten outstanding blocks of coastal cliffs and forest remnants with covenants totalling 33ha. The strong regeneration in the bush is a reflection of the family's commitment to nearly 40 years of bush restoration and ongoing possum control.

'I noticed the fine custodianship of this land as soon as we came on to the farm,' said Sir Brian. 'The work the Bowdens have done is a prime example of how to protect our natural heritage that is becoming more and more important to all of us.
'Private landowners in Whangarei now protect 2,400 hectares with just under 300 covenants. We couldn't protect so much for future generations without the generosity of our covenantors.'
Katharine Bowden welcomed the guests to the family farm. 'One of the first things we did when we arrived here was to fence off a piece of bush,' she said. 'The protected areas in this piece of paradise are now a huge source of pride and achievement.'
Nan Pullman, QEII Whangarei Regional Representative, said forest remnants, wetlands, saltmarsh, coastal foreshores, archaeological sites and revegetation projects are just some of the features protected locally with covenants.

'Covenants in the Whangarei region also protect the habitat of threatened species such as kiwi, brown teal and geckos,' she said.
'To enable us to protect as many of our natural features as possible, we work closely with covenantors, councils, surveyors and ecologists to spread the funds available for fencing and pest control further.'
Guy Bowden explained how the family's long term commitment to weed and pest control is bringing back native species such as bellbirds to the bush.
'The covenant protects one of the best examples of pohutukawa forest in Northland,' he said.
'We are now replacing fences around our original covenant to make sure this protection continues. Without the help of QEII and their local representative Nan Pullman, and the Northland Regional Council, we wouldn't be where we are today.'
link to the QE11 Trust website

Katharine Bowden recounters the history of the family farm