Who we are
Our roots are in rural Rodney. Being local, we understand the realities of living on the land, and strive to connect the best information, people and services to our communities so that they can make the right decisions for their land or area.
Our Purpose & Approach
Our purpose is through practical landowner-centred support, enable the protection, enhancement and connection of forest remnants, wetlands and other landscape to provide safe habitat for indigenous wildlife.
As our projects have grown, we have delveoped a model for targeting our predator control and fencing activities to acheive our goal of a connected landscape. This approach is designed to help communities and landowners to protect precious wildlife habitat. Communities are supported to grow their local precious places into ‘hubs’ of ecological protection.
Once these hubs are established, we help to create a halo effect around them, gradually expanding the activities and volunteer base. We also work with land owners in these areas and provide materials and manpower so that they can fence off native bush remants, control plant and animal pests and, plant native trees to link up bush remnants. We also work with school and community groups and involve them in our efforts to create the forest bridge.
All of these things connect together into networks of protected biodiversity which will form our bridge of connected landscape.
Meet our Team
Kevin & Gill Adshead
Founders of The Forest Bridge Trust, Kevin and Gill Adshead, are retired from managing a large family farm, Mataia, at Glorit on the south eastern shores of the Kaipara Harbour.
However, retired is probably not quite the right word as they are still managing the biodiversity of the property, including kiwi, through intensive pest control, and fencing and plantingof waterways.
“We work for the Trust because we have a passion for supporting farmers and landowners as they work toward setting and achieving environmental goals for their properties.”
Trustee and CatchIT Coordinator
I’m an environmental educator and facilitator with 30 years involvement in delivery of conservation programmes, managing community partnerships and volunteer programmes. I’ve run my own outdoor safety management business and worked with the Department of Conservation, NGO’s and private business.
I enjoy working with the Forest Bridge team as a Trustee, they are professional and passionate about making this project work. Helping communities that care about their environment – and seeing them take action makes my heart sing.
Thomas joined The Forest Bridge Trust when it was formed in 2014 as he is committed to the vision and could use his business experience to help out.
Previously he has spent 28 years with Ernst & Young in the US and Japan specialising in financial audits of global companies, information systems auditing and forensic accounting. Tom is also a trustee of the CUE Haven Community Trust, which owns and manages CUE Haven, a former dairy farm which has been restored back to native NZ forest reserve by and for the community.
Joy Paxton joined The Forest Bridge Trust in 2020 bringing many years and a broad scope of Small Business, Human Resource and Employment leadership, consultancy and advisory skills and experience to the Trustee role.
As well as recent voluntary field work, Joy is an enthusiastic and energetic contributor to all conservation work and includes committee, membership and field roles with Warkworth Forest & Bird, TOSSI, Hauturu Supporters Trust, Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi and Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists Trust. For several years, as a Board member, Joy lead the Rotary Youth programmes. Her pragmatic approach and this background are coupled with a lifetime of boots on the ground through farming, conservation and outdoor pursuits in the northern regions and beyond.
Tracy has a many years experience managing community partnerships and delivering environmental projects with local government, NGO’s and private business.
She also works alongside her husband on their dairy farm in South Head.
Working for The Forest Bridge Trust provides the perfect opportunity to bring together this experience and skill set to make a positive difference in rural Rodney – an area Tracy is very passionate about.
Maj de Poorter
Maj (pronounced My) has worked in management roles at Ark in the Park and Rotokare Sanctuary. She also worked for DOC in their International Partnerships team. By training she is an ecologist (PhD) and led the kokako reintroduction at Ark in the Park.
She has a wealth of experience and technical knowledge, but also has strong empathy for rural landowners and the issues they face. She is really excited at the prospect of being part of the TFBT journey.
Coming from the UK, (where she was schooled in London but spent all her holiday time on their family farm in Wales), Emma has maintained her love of the outdoors and understands the need for balance between agriculture and conservation.
Having settled in Rodney in 2001, Emma brings a background of not-for-profit management and infrastructure development to The Forest Bridge Trust. Emma is delighted that her new role at TFBT feels like a perfect fit, combining her rural lifestyle based in Puhoi with over 20 years of management and business experience.
Marguerite’s love for the outdoors, and nature has been a lifelong one, growing up on a farm and later teaching Outdoor Education as a secondary school teacher. Her passion and commitment to conservation is clear, through her involvement as a committee member of Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society (TOSSI); as a long serving member of Tiritiri Matangi Supporters and a guide on the Island, as well as a member of Te Hauturu-o-Toi Supporters Trust.
If that wasn’t enough she has volunteered at Auckland Zoo for over eight years, more recently as a guide in Te Wao Nui (the Aotearoa-New Zealand precinct), and has been a volunteer on Rotoroa Island. Marguerite enjoys working with people who are passionate about conservation and protecting the environment. She is excited about the Trust’s vision, and seeing our landowners get actively involved, even in their own backyard.
Pest Control Advisor
Fourth generation Matakana born and bred, our resident Pest Control Advisor extraordinaire has been involved in conservation work for over 15 years. A decade working for the Department of Conservation in Island pest eradication, shorebird monitoring and weed work has provided Cam extensive practical skills and knowledge in all things nasty in our native forests.
Over the past five years he has moved into the private sector and started his own business —Rural Pest Control. Early on in this move, he also partnered with the Forest Bridge Trust where he has been hugely appreciated, passing on his knowledge to keen conservationists in our area.
Cam says, the enthusiasm he has encountered from keen trappers has been some of the most rewarding work of his career and he really enjoys helping people achieve their pest control goals.
Pest Control Support
Charles has always been passionate about the environment and conservation so working as a Pest Control Contractor for the Forest Bridge Trust is a bit like a dream come true. His background in landscape gardening developed an appreciation for plants and trees in general. Charles loves nothing more than getting outdoors and into the bush. Being part of the effort to protect and enhance that environment for future generations, to him is simply awesome!
Tim has worked in conservation for the better part of 35 years mostly in Northland and Auckland Regions and more recently parts of the Northern Waikato. Twenty seven of those years was spent DOC based in the Bay of Islands, Kauri Coast, and then Warkworth/Mahurangi mostly in the field operational side of the business—where his connection to the Kaipara and then the fledgling TFBT began.
There’s nothing quite like being made redundant in your mid 50’s to shake things up and so when an opportunity to work on improving biodiversity on dairy farms for Fonterra came along Tim jumped on board. That role as the partnership programme lead for the North Island sites lasted for six and a half years and exposed him to the business of dairy farming and issues faced by rural communities.
Maree has a background in Zoology and is an active member of the Shakespear Open Sanctuary volunteer group SOSSI – with many roles ranging from secretary to kiwi monitoring. She has also been involved with the translocation of Robins to Shakespear, Urupukapuka, Mt Taranaki and saddleback to Shakespear.
Virginia has joined The Forest Bridge Trust to develop a monitoring framework for our area of focus.
Virginia, a resident of Whangateau, has a PhD in Conservation Biology and has worked across a range of projects surveying and monitoring water quality, species distribution and habitat, with a particular focus on native frogs – both here in NZ and in her home country of Chile!
Web Administrator/Developer & IT Support
My name is Kotaro Watanabe. I’m originally from Japan. After working for 10 years in Singapore, my family and I migrated to New Zealand in 2014. We love the nature and people of this beautiful country so much that our three children call this place their “home”. We live on the shore and often go to Tawharanui to ride the waves, where Takahes and Pukekos welcome us.
I started my career in human resources/general affairs, then to marketing/corporate planning. My previous company in Singapore offered me a role in the IT department in the international HQ. That was where it all began. I’m a Digital All-Rounder with focus on web administration/development and database. My goal is to become an ultimate Information Technology person who can connect between people and the digital world.
I was attracted by the activities which the Trust has been engaged in and I had always been wanting to contribute my IT knowledge and experience to nature. Technology and nature are two opposites however I strongly believe those two can walk hand-in-hand towards making a better world.