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Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust

This trust was formed from the Clyde Railhead Community Nursery which was an initiative of Making a Difference for Central Otago (MAD4CO), the Sustainable Living Programme of the Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme (COREAP).


The name is Te Reo for Leaning Rock - its literal meaning is "first to greet the dawn".

The nursery originally operated in a small part of the Department of Conservation (DoC) Nursery at Clyde. In 2015, DoC made the entire nursery available to MAD4CO and in 2016 the Community Nursery started planning in earnest.

To help mitigate the effects of climate change and assist the community to adapt to those effects it is essential to have resilient native ecosystems. Research has shown that Central Otago’s biodiversity was once more complex than the grasslands that currently exist.


A 2002 study showed that the Central Otago District has lost more of its biodiversity and has the least protected areas of any of the 73 districts in the country. A 2005 report stated that 80% of the Acutely and Chronically Threatened vascular plants of inland Central Otago District occur in the lowland and montane zones of the district.

Our Vision

Our communities are thriving with landscapes and corridors rich in habitats of indigenous flora and fauna.

Our Mission

  • Fostering communities and partnerships to share in our vision.

  • Creating a flourishing nursery of locally sourced seeds and plants.

  • Creating an environmental hub as a place of learning and participation.

What we do

The nursery operates three main areas of activity

  • identifying local vegetation remnants and collecting seed

  • propagating that seed

  • working with community groups to develop stewardship areas.

The nursery supplies plants to community plantings and advises groups on plant selection and management.


Our nursery volunteers also run workshops such as the one at the 2016 Alexandra Thyme Festival with a primary goal to assist the community in using native plants in gardens, parks and reserves to restore the native biodiversity that makes the drylands of Central Otago unique and important in New Zealand. Raising awareness of the plants that are missing from our main streets will help bring back the birds, lizards and insects that fulfil roles in those ecosystems.

Otago Central Rail Trail - Clyde

Our most recent planting extends original DoC and Project Gold plantings at the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail at Clyde.

This is visited by thousands of locals an tourists. It is one of the refuges being developed in the district to provide a network for birds such as tui and korimako, which are common in other parts of New Zealand but uncommon in Central Otago, and a habitat for lizards.

Contact us or via our Facebook page



Supporters  Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust, the Hazlett Trust.

The Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust enjoys working with the Mokihi Trust of Cromwell as the seed travels down the Mata-au

Our Planting Projects

Why we are here

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