The Native Bush
After the war, large areas of forest were felled for wood and then burned off to create farms for returning soldiers and their families. However in some cases only the biggest trees were taken and the remnant bush left. In this way approximately 4000 hectares of native forest around Manawahe were retained. About half of this is found on private land in the corridor.
The bush type in the corridor is predominantly Rimu- Rata/ Tawa-Kamahi with Rewarewa thriving in situations where the other dominant canopy trees are struggling. The understory of the well protected areas resembles fairytale books with nikau, ferns, mossy glades and huge dead tree trunks smothered in life. There is a large Rata tree that would require 4-5 people linking hands to encircle its diameter. In the lower reaches of the corridor some areas of dunes and wetland remain along with a pohutukawa-hard beech forest type in the Matata scenic reserve.
Much of the high profile work on protecting the bush in the Manawahe has focussed on the breeding area of a Kokako population. Since the mid 1990s the population has grown from 14 to 53 birds. As well as the kokako, the bush is home to lively populations of tui as well as bellbirds, tomtits, grey warblers, cuckoo’s, fantail, kereru and there have been sightings of robin .The diverse habitats that can be found throughout the bush are home to an abundance of invertebrates that have yet to be studied. Forest Gecko and Pacific Gecko were found in a study in 2007.
Most farmers in the corridor have protected areas of native forest from grazing stock and many carry out pest control.