We spent the day collecting data at Smith’s Bush using the skills we had previously practised at Year 12 camp. This trip was planned for Arataki Visitors’ Centre in the Waitākere ranges but it’s currently inaccessible for large buses due to road damage from cyclone Gabrielle.
Smith’s Bush in Northcote Road is a great substitute as it’s one of the only forest remnants of its type remaining on Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland’s North Shore. As such, it is unique and of high ecological importance. While in the bush we noticed very large, mature Pūriri trees and lots of other species such as Taraire, Kowhai, Karaka, Tawa and Tōtara as well as quite a lot of Kahikatea.
We were specifically looking at the different species and where they existed in the different layers of the forest. Smaller trees and shrubs growing beneath the canopy include Mahoe, Hangehange, Kawakawa and several Coprosma species. The students were very interested in identifying the trees and their adaptations and we had the help of the staff from Arataki who came on our trip with us.
It was a great day out and a privilege for us to spend time in such a beautiful stand of bush.