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  • Le Roys Bush & Little Shoal Bay


    An important remnant bush area has been protected, treasured and restored, allowing native flora and fauna to flourish. Interpretive signage helps park users understand, value and treasure this special place.

    Project Summary


    Le Roys Bush Reserve is one of a number of forested gullies in Northcote and Birkenhead on Auckland's North Shore. It contains lowland forest with significant examples of kauri-tanekaha forest, broadleaved forest, pohutukawa forest and wetland associations, including the largest area of raupo wetland remaining on the North Shore. It is a diverse, healthy remnant with an ecological sequence from the riparian zone to the ridge. The moist sheltered valley provides habitat for the threatened native kingfern. The Shoal Bay Stream is habitat for indigenous fish including inanga, banded kokopu, longfin eel and shortfin eel. The riparian and wetland vegetation in the lower reaches of the stream provide ideal inanga spawning habitat. The wetland also provides an important role in flood attenuation, and stormwater treatment.

    The valley in which Le Roys Bush lies was known by the early Maori as TeUruwao (TeUruao). In early days the Maori people followed an old trail down the ridge where Wernham Place now runs, to the Shore line of the mangrove estuary(Wai-manawa) and out to Little Shoal Bay for the pipi and other fish. The valley was bought by Mr. Le Roy in 1918.Le Roy was an enthusiastic collector of plants and a keen gardener and over the years bought or acquired many plants which he established in the valley. He also established lily ponds which are no longer present. The Forest and Bird Society purchased the property from the estate in 1947, and in 1955 the Scenic Board was established to control the reserve and other similar areas on the North Shore. During the late 1950s and early 1960s the estuary in the lower catchment was reclaimed allowing the freshwater raupo wetland to form.

    Council employees have been working in partnership with local communities since early 2008 as part of the Private Property Stream Restoration Pilot Projects. This has included the Little Shoal Bay Stream and Le Roys Bush Reserve. The council has worked with key property owners on stormwater management, removing and controlling pest plants, planting natives, controlling animal pests and generally minimising impacts on the stream and bush environment. By 2010, large amounts of weeds had been treated or cleared from the area, rubbish was removed and the first couple of thousand native plants and trees were planted.  The council has also worked in partnership with the Le Roys Bush Management Committee to install a series of environmental interpretation panels in Le Roys Bush reserve to inform reserve users about key environmental features of the area.

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