our projects


This is a four year project restoring the grey shrublands back to an area that was historically farmed. First planting was undertaken in 2020 and the last in 2023. Over 2000 plants are in the ground and with only the natural rainfall to help it along we are gaining interesting data on what survives in a dryland planting. Monitoring and weed control will continue even though planting has ended. Dunstan High School Alexandra Rotarians, corporates like WPS and the general public have been involved in this project as well. Many thanks to all for your time and  support.


Converting an old railway yard to a native shrubland is a tough ask but that is the plan here. We are also showcasing our special smaller dryland species that love a challenging environment.


keep alexandra & clyde beautiful partnership

Lookout Reserve. 

 In Alexandra, between Little Valley Road, and Lookout Drive: just over the old rail bridge.   

Part of a pleasant Rail bridge to Shaky bridge walk on each side of the Manuherikia River

KACB and Project Gold planted 30 kowhais in 2011.  In 2014 a project group was formed with local volunteers. Since then at least 100 plants from the HNHT nursery have been planted each year,  by the KACB Lookout Reserve core group, and Enviroschools groups  from St Gerards and Alexandra Primary schools.



Tucked away in a rocky gully a short drive from Alexandra is a council owned parcel land which incorporates schist outcrops, grasslands, a tiny patch of saline site associated plants and a wetland which is significant for the area as there are few left in Otago and it is habitat for the ‘At Risk – Naturally Uncommon’ Little Shag.

The ’Lower Manorburn’ is also a popular site for locals and tourists alike. In summer rock jumping, swimming and kayaking are popular pastimes and in winter (if it is cold enough) the drawcard is natural ice skating.

A small group of reserve users and neighbours have banded together since 2021 to undertake native plantings amongst other things to improve the biodiversity and the recreational space.

Spring and Autumn plantings have seen over 216 plants in the ground. They are mostly supplied by Haehaeata but some local seed has been collected and grown on by volunteers.


At a success rate  of 98% (Nov 2023) this has been a great result and can be attributable to the hard working volunteers that hand water every week over summer.

If you would like to be involved in some way email  lmrworkinggroup21@gmail.com


Clyde Community & Enviroschools Ecological Restoration Group partnership

Crown land, our land beside the Clyde Bridge and the Millennium Cycle Trail, was covered in wilding conifers, blackberry, briar and hawthorn. 

Interested locals and Clyde Enviroschool students and teachers began an ecological restoration in this area in 2010. We aimed to provide a small area of Aotearoa’s natural heritage, close to where we live. To bring back our birds.

Exotic weeds were removed, then natives planted every autumn. “Project Gold” a kōwhai planting project added to those growing in our surrounding gullies and hillsides.

Twelve years on native birds and skinks can be seen here on a regular basis.


Mycorrhizal fungal communities in native & introduced vegetation in central otago

In 2018 the Haehaeata Trust took part in a citizen science project run by the Participatory Science Platform Otago to establish ‘What helps native plant regeneration?’ and could mycorrhizal fungi determine the success or failure in our local dryland native plant establishment and survival?

Volunteers surveyed vegetation and sampled the soils of native scrubland and thyme in 3 gullies on Waikeri Downs Station, near Clyde. Otago university took soil samples back to their lab to look for symbiotic fungi DNA. This investigation into soils of regenerating dryland native shrublands is breaking new ground.

Do you have a great idea for the next project?

Get in touch with Rachael our Project Coordinator at haehaeata@haehaeata.org.nz