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When people work together, incredible things can happen!

Raising conservation awareness by educating people

Fern Plant
abour dorset


The Canopy Conservation Trust is committed to creating a pest-free environment covering approximately 220ha of the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.

To provide a safe haven amongst the trees for as many native species as possible –and for you and your family to comeand enjoy it. Reintroduce precious birds such as kiwi, kōkakoand saddlebacks.


For all native birds, to make the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve their home once again

How it Works

Introducing the
Canopy Conservation Trust

When people work together, incredible things can happen.Public enthusiasm and the success of conservation work already underway in Rotorua’s Dansey Road Scenic Reserve has now led to the creation of the Canopy Conservation Trust.This new charitable trustis a joint initiative between Rotorua Canopy Tours and the Department of Conservation. Together we’ll continue to eradicate pests from this slice of pristine forestand help restore the natural eco-systemto its former glory.We’ll also be raisingconservation awareness and educatingpeople along the way, so our community can better understand theproblem and help turn things around both here in the reserve, and at home in their own back yard.Together Rotorua Canopy Tours and the Department of Conservation will contribute $70,000 annually to the trust’s activities for three years. By the end of 2017 we hope the trust will become self-sufficient through support from public donations, sponsorship and a portion of tickets sold at Rotorua Canopy Tours. We think partnerships are the best way to achieve great results. We see this forest as “our forest” but in truth it’s your forest too. We’d love you to get involved with the Canopy Conservation Trust, so please enjoy looking through this website and learning how you can help our native species survive.

Lawns and turf
Train Crossing Bridge


Dansey Road Scenic Reserve

Northwest of Rotorua, on the Mamaku Plateau, stands one of the most in-tact native eco-systems you’ll find anywhere in New Zealand.The Dansey Road Scenic Reserve has never been logged. Its trees have stood for over 1000 years and are home to countless rare species of native birds, invertebrates, reptiles and fungi.But it’s a combination of sheer luck and generosity that this500ha paradise exists at all.When a railway line was first builtin 1860 to bring tourists to see Rotorua’s famous pink and white terraces, this section of forest was left untouched to form an attractive ‘gateway’ to the city. The land was kindly given by local Maori to the Putaruru Railway Company and was eventually taken over by the Government when the railway company shutdown. As such, it has never been sold and remains in Crown ownership today.Life in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve flourished for centuries. A cobalt deficiency in the soil (courtesy of Rotorua’s geothermal landscape) means deer, pigs and goats have always steered clear of this area. They can’t metabolise the plants that grow here, so the damage these animals normally inflict on young trees and shrubs hasn’t occurred.

Yet the reserve is a far cry from what it once was. Introduced predators such as rats, stoats and possums have decimated the birdlife, eating everything from unhatched chicks through to fully-grown birds. By the late 20th Century the reserve was almost silent.The Canopy Conservation Trust is continuing the work started by Rotorua Canopy Tours in 2013 to turn this situation around. We’re working to remove all pests from a 220ha section of the scenic reserve which sits between the old railway line and Dansey Road itself. We’ve had great success so far, but we need your help and support to fill this virgin forest with birdsong


It’s rare to find an untouched native forest in New Zealand. Many have been logged and regenerated. But once large trees are removed, the eco-system is never quite the same.The Dansey Road Scenic Reserve is one of the most “alive” forests we have left,and home to countless rare species –more of whom are being discovered every day thanks to our conservationeffort

Planting a Tree



Image by Eddie Kopp
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