CUE Haven Nature Connect

Rounding off The Forest Bridge Trust summer events on Sunday, February 25th, Claire from our Community Liaison Team hosted a morning of walking and nature exploration. The destination was CUE Haven, a former dairy farm that the community has lovingly restored into a NZ native forest. Over 4,000 volunteers have planted more than 170,000 native trees and built over 6km of walking tracks.

The C-U-E in CUE Haven stands for Cultivating Understanding (Mātauranga) & Enlightenment (Māramatanga). The vision for CUE Haven is to provide a space where people from diverse backgrounds can explore nature, interact, share ideas, develop an understanding about themselves, other people, and the environment, and make connections between what we value, our behaviours, and decisions.

Claire was delighted to welcome over 50 eager nature lovers, with participants travelling from as far as Pt Wells, all undeterred by the somewhat uncertain weather conditions.

The event kicked off at 10 am with co-founders Tom and Mahrukh Stazyk providing a brief yet insightful overview of CUE Haven, setting the stage for the adventure that awaited and outlining the activities taking place on-site that morning.

Tom led the first sizable walking group, highlighting points of interest across the property, with support from Elena and Alex of The Forest Bridge Trust Team. Simultaneously, the second group departed, under the guidance of Richard, a dedicated CUE Haven volunteer supported by Claire.

A significant pause in the journey occurred at the stream, where Hana from Wai Connection shared valuable insights into maintaining healthy waterways, showcasing findings that included banded kōkopu and a baby eel – clear indicators of a thriving stream ecosystem.

CUE Haven Nature Connect - The Forest Bridge Trust

Continuing their adventure, the groups encountered two rurus nestled in a tree, explored wētā hotels, and marvelled at various points of interest, including volunteer-built huts, sculptures, and contributions enhancing the overall beauty of CUE Haven.

The summit offered a breathtaking panorama of the harbour, prompting reflections on the stark contrast between the bare farmland and the flourishing bush on CUE Haven. To ensure accessibility for all, Alex from The Forest Bridge Trust kindly transported less mobile participants to the summit in his truck, allowing everyone a chance to partake in the exploration.

Afterwards, guests were free to stroll back at their own pace, choosing between the scenic trail or the direct road access. The gathering continued with hot beverages and sausage rolls, fostering lively discussions and connections on topics ranging from fencing and planting to wetland restoration and predator control. Participants also delved into the world of macroinvertebrates, courtesy of Wai Connection. Heartfelt gratitude was extended to CUE Haven, and special thanks to Wai Connection – Tatai ki te Wai, a Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust program funded by the Ministry for the Environment, for joining us to create an enjoyable and inspiring community event.

Thank you to TFBT volunteer Astanda for the photographs and video.