If you build it, they will come….
When Tony first coined the phrase, “creating a safe haven for our native species” he may not have envisioned the
far reaching consequences of his ambition…
Today, as we sit in the office working on the latest newsletter, a bellbird sings
a haunting melody in the fig tree just outside. He (or she) has been hanging
around all week and has got everyone thinking, “Is this the one? Could this
be the bellbird that re-establishes this long lost species on the Barrier?” If the
keen ears of the guests currently staying in Glenfern Cottage are to be trusted,
then the chances are good, as this morning they claim to have heard a reply
– could there be two?
Our fiery apprentice Dana Cook has just rushed into the office with ground
breaking data – she has just recorded the first ever video of a Cook’s Petrel
chick emerging from a burrow on Great Barrier Island. Perhaps they have
been trying for years for a safe place to raise their young, but this is the first
time a human has witnessed one succeed – and it happened in Glenfern
But it doesn’t end there – not only are te taonga being drawn to the
Kotuku Peninsula but also te tangata – the people.
Tony’s dream has summoned a diverse range of passionate and
skilled individuals from all over the world, united in the simple and
elegant purpose of “creating a safe haven”. Scientists, students,
backpackers, boaties, locals and even paying guests have been
swept up in the momentum and contributed a piece of themselves to
make Glenfern what it is.
And no-one epitomises this more
than the beaming young ecologist
laughing hysterically at her laptop
screen right now as she plays the video of the emerging Cook’s petrel chick over
and over again. Dana came to us as a backpacker – straight off the boat – and
in one incredible year has since taken control of everything from monitoring our
endangered resident seabird population, to producing the newsletter that you are
now reading. She’ll be heading off to broaden her horizons next week. But like so
many others she will be leaving a piece of who she is, within the fence of this very
To her, and to everybody; from us, from the taonga and from Tony, we thank you