Man Turns Degraded Land Into Massive Forest!
By Neenah Payne
The documentary Man Spends 30 Years Turning Degraded Land into Massive Forest – Fools & Dreamers shows that when Hugh Wilson bought degraded land in New Zealand that no one wanted, neighbors called him a “Fool and Dreamer” to think he could restore the area. Wilson felt flattered because he felt, “We need more fools and dreamers”!
Wilson Restored Native Forests
Wilson now looks after 1,500 hectares in the Hinewai Forest Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary. He walks two hours to work, works eight hours, and walks two hours back home where he starts his desk work! Wilson points out the importance of the biodiversity that the native forests provide. He says that in our high-tech world, many people have forgotten how dependent we are on Mother Nature. Wilson has helped the people in the area realize that farming can be done in a more sustainable way.
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Wilson walks or rides a bike rather than using vehicles that depend on fossil fuels.
Wilson Is a Dreamer, But Not a Fool
Wilson says that all we can do is our best. He hopes that the success at the Hinewai Nature Reserve will inspire others around the world to do the best they can in their areas. Wilson explains that inspiring others was not his original intention, but “If that’s repeated over and over, the possibilities are immense. The problems are immense, but the solutions are immense too.”
The Fools and Dreamers site says:
“Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a free 30-minute documentary about Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/ manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.
Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1,500 hectares resplendent in native forest where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.”
“CHANGE THE WORLD: Forest regeneration is one of the most important actions that needs to be taken globally to address the environmental crises we’re facing today. Our hope is that people from all over the world will draw inspiration from what’s happening at Hinewai Reserve, which is why we’ve made the film free to view.
But we need your help! Please consider sharing the film with a friend, posting about it to your social networks, or host a screening in your community.”