about us


Our beginnings

The Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust was formed in 2017. It operates the Clyde Railhead Community Eco Nursery.

The nursery site was originally operated by Dept. of Conservation (DOC).  As they wound down their operation, Roger Browne gathered a small group of volunteers to share the space and operate a Community nursery, in 2011. They used seeds collected from our bush remnants.

In 2015 DOC withdrew from the nursery, Bill Nagle stepped in to rebuild the operation.   With support from Making a Difference for Central Otago (MAD4CO), the Sustainable Living Programme of the Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme (COREAP) options for governance were explored and the Trust was formed in 2017. Te Kākano in Wanaka has also been instrumental, both then and now with advice and as an example of how a community nursery can thrive. 

We were very lucky to come to a management agreement with DOC and have use of the premises (with a tunnel house and hardening off areas), and the  land they are on.

The Trust is named after the Te Reo name for Leaning Rock on the Dunstan Range, the meaning of which is “First to greet the Dawn”.

Trustees left to right. Helen Adams, Tim, Bev, Kevin, Dhana Pillai, Ollie, Claire, Roger (Patron) & Rachael (Admin, Nursery Manager & Project coordinator)

The Trust

The Trust meets monthly and operates our nursery.

Our Vision:

Our Communities thriving with landscapes and corridors rich in habitats of indigenous flora and fauna

Our Mission is to:

• Foster communities and partnerships to share in our vision.

• Create a flourishing nursery of locally sourced seeds and plants.

• Create an environmental hub as a place of learning and participation.

Trustees: Ollie Yeoman (Chair), Claire Becker-Gledhill (past Chair), Kevin Clarke (Treasurer), Beverley Thomson and Tim Whittaker.

Advisers: Nursery Manager: Rachael Baxter - Admin and Project Coordinator- Rachael Baxter.  

Patron: Roger Browne

Founding and past Trustees & advisers: Claire Becker-Gledhill, Kevin Clarke, Beverley Thomson, Tony Perrett, Doug White, Bill Nagle, Dhana Pillai, Helen Hillis, Helen Adams and Roger Browne.

Recognition                                                                                                                                            Trustpower Community Awards Finalist 2018


 "Nothing but scrub"   Our grey drylands have more beauty and wildlife than is apparent from a distance. 

Imagine what it would have been like before fire, clearance for early pastoral farming, gold mining, rabbits, and introduced weeds.  80% of our Central Otago lowland native plants are threatened or endangered and are reduced to scattered individuals or small remnants.

They shelter and feed endangered lizards and birds such as tui and korimako (bellbirds).

The HNHT is a community response to this situation. We aim to:

We want to help you appreciate this quiet beauty -by increasing awareness of our special plants through education, field trips, workshops and nursery visits. Our earliest demonstration project is a planting at Korimako corner, another place to learn. You can find it on the DOC reserve at the corner of Springvale road and state Highway 8.

Our strategy is to save our endangered species by revegetating suitable areas, in blocks, pockets, pathways, riversides and corridors.

To do this we undertake Intrepid seed collection in the remote, rocky, spikey places where plants have managed to survive.   

We grow on these seeds to be locally hardy plants and assist community groups and individuals to organise projects on public land.

Community Support

We are a 'not for profit' trust.  Our success depends on grants, sponsorship and donations for project funding and help in-kind. We also have our wonderful volunteers and local organisations.

One model we use is to assist community groups and support them with planting advice, obtaining funds and practical help for planting projects they want to undertake on public land.

We also undertake our own restoration projects eg Korimako Corner, and Flat Top Hill planting in partnership with DOC

This could not happen without the support of our

Major Funders

Fantastic local businesses and organisations

2023 achievements report.pdf

2023 Acheivements Report

2022 Annual report.pdf

2022 Annual Report

Copy of 2021 Annual report.pdf

2021 Annual Report

2020 Annual report.pdf

2020 Annual Report