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A new Trust has been incorporated to raise money to expand the Snowden Bush Reserve in Brightwater, Nelson MP Nick Smith announced today.

“The Snowden Bush Trust is needed to protect and enhance this beautiful reserve in Brightwater by buying the important frontage along Waimea West Road from the Anglican Church and adding it to the reserve. This expansion of the reserve permanently protects centuries old Totara trees and habitat for native birds as well as maintaining the public view and connection of the reserve with Brightwater” Dr Smith said.

The Snowden’s Bush Trust is chaired by Jeremy Cameron with other trustees being John Baker, Antoinette Besier, Megan Brown, Karen Cameron, Janice Gibbs, Annette Moorhead and Nick Smith.

The initial proposal for the Trust came from Brightwater residents led by Janice Gibbs who approached Nelson MP Nick Smith for help last year. A public meeting in Brightwater on 3 December endorsed the Trust proposal. The inaugural meeting of the Trust was held on 4 March and the Trust was incorporated this week.  

“The history of this land  dates back to the 1850s when it was provided as a “glebe”, or land where a Priest grazed his horse and grew food to support his family, but it has been used as an open public space associated with Snowden’s Bush for about 100 years. We acknowledge that the Anglican Church is quite entitled to sell it to support its ministries, but believe it would be a tragedy for Brightwater and the wider region for it to be permanently lost to housing development. Snowden’s Bush is the largest remnant of the vast forest that once covered the Waimea Plains and it needs to be expanded rather than shrunk” Dr Smith said.

“The incorporation of the Trust is important but only a first step. Our next challenge is to negotiate a generous deal with the Anglican Church for the price and timeframe for purchase. We will then be embarking on a fundraising campaign from Government, Council and community sources.”

“Nelson and Tasman have lost thousands of hectares of native forest to land clearance for agriculture and housing and we lost more again this year to the horrible fires. We need to staunchly protect the last remnants of native trees like at Snowden’s Bush and ensure this natural heritage is there for future generations to enjoy.”

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