It’s all about connecting the dots… across the landscape
purpose & approach
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 developed a model for targeting our predator control and fencing activities to acheive our goal of a connected landscape. Working collaboratively and engaging with all members of the community underpins the work of the Trust. 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 predators 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.
“A connected landscape with healthy forest and flourishing indigenous wildlife from the Kaipara Harbour to the Pacific Coast”
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 predator 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 Schools Programme Lead
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.
Gary has been a lawyer for the past 40 years and is a partner ( a founding partner) of Simpson Western Lawyers, based in Takapuna and Silverdale. His specialty areas are trusts and governance, and he is presently involved as a trustee of numerous discretionary family and commercial trusts, together with various charitable trust roles.
Gary is passionate about conservation and spends a great deal of time, along with his wife, Diane, in Leigh.
“I have been working in academia for over thirty-five years and have been at the Waipapa Taumata Rau/ University of Auckland since 2010. Over the last 11 years I have held a number of senior leadership roles in Te Kura Tangata/ Faculty of Arts including Associate Dean of Research. As a result, I have a wealth of experience around strategic development, leadership and programme management. I also have a long history of working with, and in, community lead initiatives that have aimed to bring about social change. Being able to bring my skills and knowledge in these areas to my role as trustee is something I am looking forward to.
The Forest Bridge Trust is an innovative project that is ambitious and forward looking, helping New Zealand ‘reset’ its approach to its unique ecology. To be involved in such an initiative is both a pleasure and privilege and it is a real opportunity to make a difference.”
Jade is an experienced finance professional with a passion for the outdoors. He has significant experience working with both profit and not-for-profit entities and enjoys giving back to the community, particularly through sustainability initiatives. Jade is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Certificate of Public Practice.
Jade is the father of 3 kids who also love the outdoors. When not working or volunteering, you will find Jade with the family either in the forest, on the coast or at a sports field making the most of the opportunities that life presents.
Fliss Taylor is a beef and sheep farmer from Tomarata where she has farmed for 29 years along with her husband Stu. A keen trapper, Fliss is co-ordinator of the Logue’s Bush Reserve Trapping Hub where, along with an awesome team of volunteers, she has made a huge difference to the predator population in the reserve and surrounding land. Fliss loves to see the positive changes that come from looking after the environment.
It is a privilege to lead The Forest Bridge Trust having commenced my role as CEO in April 2022. I am inspired by the purpose and evolution of the Trust over the past 8 years and see real potential in further improving land connectivity and ecological harmony across the region. The Trust has been founded by those with strong vision, passion and perseverance and we now have the opportunity to extend our services, both in terms of depth and breadth, across what is a beautiful part of NZ.
I have strong ancestral, family and sporting links with the Rodney region and am very passionate about its future environmentally, economically and socially.
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.
Field Team Lead
Michelle lives on a lifestyle block in rural Matakana with her husband, 3 young children and an ever-increasing number of animals.
Over the last 15 years, Michelle has worked in New Zealand’s major events and exhibitions industries, including building venues and coordinating sponsor branding for the Louis Vuitton Trophy series, Rally of New Zealand the Rugby World Cup. Recently, Michelle was part of one of Auckland’s largest apartment remediation projects, being the liaison between the project team, owners and residents of the complex.
Michelle feels a deep sense of connection to the land, rivers and our wonderful community. She is excited to work with our people to protect and care for this unique environment we share.
Ecology and Boidiversity Advisor
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!
Predator Control Lead
Fourth generation Matakana born and bred, our resident Predator Control Advisor extraordinaire has been involved in conservation work for over 15 years. A decade working for the Department of Conservation in Island predator 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 Predator 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 predator control goals.
Predator Control Assistant
Originally from Switzerland, Eliane has lived in the Warkworth area since 1988. She managed to escape her office work in 2001 when she joined the Kaipara salt marsh mosquito eradication team. She has been involved with conservation work since 2007 when she started seasonal shore bird and weed control work for the Department of Conservation. She is a founding member of Tamahunga Trappers and a committee member of her local Forest & Bird branch.
Eliane joined The Forest Bridge Trust’s predator control team in November 2021. She believes that predator control is fundamental to any species protection in New Zealand and is committed to seeing this undertaken at a landscape scale.
Predator Control Assistant
David has been active in conservation of our native species for quite some time. He has held various roles with DOC undertaking predator control for many introduced species, including mustelids and feral cats, and using a wide range of different trapping tools. He is also a keen hunter. David has experience with tracking and capture of kiwi, along with monitoring various other species such as kokako, bats and yellow-eyed penguins. He has a lot of experience working in back country locations such as the Ruahine and Kaweke ranges, Stewart Island and the Lewis Pass. David moved up here specifically to join the TFBT team and has settled in the Matakana area.
Predator Control Assistant
Alex grew up in Warkworth and has a keen interest in conservation, predator control and hunting. He has lived in Australia for the last few years while on his OE journey working in various outdoor locations. Alex has just returned to Warkworth, and we are delighted that he will join our team next week.
Fencing and Planting Coordinator
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.
The opportunity to run the TFBT fencing programme seemed like a natural extension of my career path. Working for a small-scale farmer- initiated trust with a mission and values that aligns with my own and the added bonus of working within my local community was too good to resist. Getting fences built to protect bush and waterways produces a direct and visible result for the effort creating a real sense of pride in what we are doing.
Fencing and Planting Advisor
Ko Kapuārangi te maunga
Ko Wainui te awa
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Tōrerenuiārua rāua ko Manaakiao ngā tangata
Ko Ngaitai, ko Ngāti Pākehā, ko Ngāti Hāmoa ngā iwi
Ko Katie Forno ahau
I am extremely excited and grateful to be part of the Trust and to have the chance to support landowners to protect and care for their whenua. Since I was young, I have had a passion for the kaitiakitanga of the forests and rivers of Aotearoa. My experiences of working in parliament, on a diverse range of organic farms, propagating and planting native plants for reveg and volunteering in conservation projects have shown me that navigating the journey between where we are and where we need to go requires understanding and mahitahitanga. So lets go!
Mauri mahi, mauri ora.
Senior Community Liaison
Tris, her husband and two children have recently returned home to New Zealand from the UK and have fallen in love with Warkworth and the surrounding area.
Having spent much of her career in Sales & Marketing, Tris has channelled her extensive experience in managing projects into community fundraising and family events. Engaging with the community and making a difference is now her passion.
Having grown up in the country surrounded by nature and a variety of animals, Tris’ family hope to find a lifestyle block with grazing and native bush so that their children can experience the same free-range childhood that they did, and learn more about New Zealand’s unique and diverse native habitats. She is thrilled to be working with TFBT and is looking forward to getting to know the local community and sharing her passion for the protection of our environment for our native species.
Helen has lived in the Matakana region for more than 13 years with her husband and their two daughters. She has a background in business and community projects and has also been involved in managing the Matakana Markets. With her family Helen has been actively controlling predators on her own bush and wetland section from rats, possums and stoats through to wasps. She is excited to support the vision of Forest Bridge through community engagement.
GIS and Data Lead
Brenda has worked for many years as an ecologist. She is particularly interested in biodiversity protection at landscape scale and is thrilled to be part of TFBT team and supporting the awesome conservation mahi happening in northern Rodney where she lives.
Brenda and her husband are keen trappers, both on their own property and voluntarily on Tamahunga and at Tāwharanui. She loves nothing more than going bush, either doing traplines or heading off on a tramp.
I have lived in Warkworth for most of my life and I just love it here. I am very passionate about the environment and sustainability, so working for The Forest Bridge Trust is a bit like a dream come true. I have a background as a landscape gardener and before that worked in IT for a regional TV station, both of these have given me a good knowledge of the area and some of its people. I love nothing more than getting outdoors and into the wilderness with my young son. Being part of the effort to protect and enhance that environment for future generations, to me is simply awesome!
Anne has recently joined TFBT as the team Administrator, coming from Auckland War Memorial Museum Collection Care team. Her background is in Fine and Applied Arts with Museum Studies added five years ago. Anne lives in the heart of the Forest Bridge Trust area in Kaipara Flats with partner Wayne and son Scott, where they have recently established two native bush plantings on their property.
Anne brings team management skills to her work-from-home role and feels priviliged to work in her local community in a role which enables native wildlife conservation in such a meaningful way.
Her personal mantra has always been “Think global, act local”.
Web Administrator/Developer & IT Support
Kotaro is originally from Japan. After working for 10 years in Singapore, he migrated to New Zealand with his family in 2014. He and this family love the nature and people of this beautiful country so much that they call this place their “home”. They live on the shore and often go to Tawharanui to ride the waves and enjoy watching Takahē and Pukeko roaming around.
He is a Digital All-Rounder with focus on web administration/development and database. His ultimate goal is to become an Information Technology person who can connect between people and the digital world.
Working with the Trust is a perfect opportunity for him to contribute his IT knowledge and experience to the nature. Technology and nature may be two opposites however he strongly believes that those two can walk hand-in-hand towards a bright future.
Schools Program Support
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.