Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest

This is a 30-minute documentary by Happen Films about Hinewai Nature Reserve and the man who looks after it, botanist Hugh Wilson. It is an inspiring story of how degraded marginal farmland has been regenerated back into beautiful native forest.

Wilson used the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy along with a philosophy of minimal interference (Nature is smart; leave her to it) and a huge amount of passion to regenerate farmland into native forest.

The wildlife has come back. The soil holds more water. 47 known waterfalls are in now permanent flow.

Happen Films has published this documentary for individuals to view at no charge. A gesture of sharing as beautiful as the soul of Hugh Wilson and Hinewai. Visa their website to apply for a license to host a screening for groups or check out their amazing work. But definitely share it with your friends and family.

If you are curious you can find out more about Hinewai Reserve at

I wonder how to go about looking at backyards, courtyards and urban spaces through the same lens. To identify marginal areas that are not productive and regenerate habitat and water holding capacity and kick start carbon sequestration with minimal inputs.

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