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A DAY IN THE BUSH.

REMNANT OF PENINSULA

FOREST.

The passing away of our Peninsula forest to give place to the nurturing! of cattle and the cocksfoot fields; is,' after three quarters of a century, too complete, and where, at one time, seventy five years ago, our sturdy settlers set out with axe and gun to make a home with lonely forests surrounding them, there is no evidence that once there were endless mighty trees and dense undergiowlh except the giant stumps which defy eradication many yearß after destruction of the forest. Those early pioneers battled with tbeir clearing bravely, and as year succeeded year the bush dicappeared until it is now almost a thing of the past, and the settlers' task has been accomplished too well. In place of our forest we bave now our rich and productive pasture, when fine bullocks are fattening for th< meat supply of the mother countrj and even of the troops that are fight ing in the greatest Btruggle in thi knowledge of an old world. Fron this country, once clad with th primeval forest, comes our very ex istence, for were tbe forest stil flourishing there would be no cheese no butter, no wool, and no muttonthe very sinews of our fine country' existence. Our troops would not noi be participators in the great struggl for right in Europe bad not the earl pioneers performed their allotted task in tbe developing of one of the rich est dominions in the great Britisl Empire, But! and here we shoul hesitate. Besides growing our shee and our cattle, our cocksfoot and ou cheese, we should remember our in stinctive love of these erstwhil glorious forests wbich have disap peared all too completely from ou hills. The very destroyers of thes forests had tbe bush sentiment be cause they lived among it and its bird life and its beauty, but littl

tbey thought that it would pass away until only a few acres remained But thanks to tha few who foresaw the general destruction and set aside re serves we bave still small areas left to us, and we should guard these Belfishly where" it is possible. One of these early set lers was tbe late Jas, Boleyn, of Stoney Bay, who reserved near bis home some fifty acres of wellbushed country, and bas held it intact for many ypars past at bis own expanse This fine bush bas given pleasure to many, nnd it has stood in itH natural state for unfold centurie?. Banks Peninsola is much admired for its beautiful scenery. Its bold outline, ts variable landscape nnd its rugged coastline are all factors in producing the effect. Now that the i many roads tbat traverse it are well coated with tbe fine bard metal tbat produffe's a perfect surface there is practioally no portion that can not be reached in tho greatest c mfort even in a motor cir, so that even a bush like Boleyn'p, so far off the beaten track, is within easy reach of the tourist, In fact motor drive from Akarna through Okain's, Chorlton and Little Akakia back to the Main road would make an ideal outing. But few know and this ideal scenery i 3 reserved for those who accidentally pass tbat way and the residents themselves. The road to Stoney Bay leads over a high spur which divides it from Okains on the south east. This road is steep and narrow, but as you mount it an expansive panorama of Okain's Bay and tbe eastern aide of tbe peninsula opens to view, The long flat of Okain's Bay, which narrows as it reaches inland, bas evidently been reclaimed naturally by the action of the sea, and close to the ridge dividing Okain's and Stony Bay tbe stream from tbe bills has taken its course. Tbe bottom end of this tidal stream is broad where the sea is still active, so that when tbe tide receeds it leaves a small silver stream to find its way to the beach through a broad band of sand. Looking back upon this as you mount the ridge and upon the broal beach and the many ridgds of bays beyond Okain's wbich torminato in the summit ridge, a fine panarama lies before you. As you reach the ridge, a new scene is opened up, Here is a deep narrow valley, almost a canyon, where echoes come back distinctly. The ridges are steep, .and tbe rocks crop out here and there and frown over tbe narrow flat below, Capping the further ridge is the fine bush which has escaped destruction A steep road leads on to the narrow fiat below where tbe homesteads of the Boleyns are situated. Stoney Bay does not widen materially as it reaches tbe sea and at tbe beach tbe tide has thrown up a high wall of sounded boulders. Another sharp rise out of Stoney Bay, and you come in sight of tbe bush and tbe plateau which constitutes Chorlton. The bush is on the southern boundary of Chorlton, and is well protected in a small valleys from all prevailing winds CHORLTON SCHOOL PICNIC. On Saturday last a passer by could have observed in its midst a Union Jack flying from a tall totara, the flag looking remarkably well among tbe brown foliage of tbe totara and tbe dark green tops of tbe matai. It was in this unique spot tbat residents of Chorlton held tbeir annual picnic for tbeir children, and tbeir rendezvous was well chosen : and the day a particularly bright one. ln place of the usual races for toys, etc , other amuse raents were provided, and it can be safely said that the Chorlton children held a far more novel picnic than their fellows in other parts. Swing 3

from giants of the forest and see saws had been erected, and on these young and old amused themselves for several hours. The tea urns were boiled in the forest, and a table had been built between the tree trunks as a stand for the many delicacies provided". In these beautiful surroundings tbe whole afternoon wbb passed, and tbe forest echoed with tbe many cries oi laughter. A scramble through the bush is well worth while. The large trunks of totara and black pino run up for 80 feet without a limb, and tbe trees stand close together, so that tbey re present a wealth of timber Here and there an old dead stump is to be found, and the fact that it is tbe stump of a king of the forest felled by tbe Maoris many years ago to make a war canoe is borne out by much remaining evidence 1 For under these trees the Maoris' stone axes and slabs of sand stone brought from the beach for sharpening purposes have been discovered. Some trees from this forest may have made the canoe wbich bore the last of tbe Morioris on their way to the Chathams when their successors, the Maoris, drove tbem from their nitive land, for it is practically authenticated that the last of those docile people left the shores of New Zealand from the east side of Banks Peninsula and mads their homes in the Chat • hams. These strange people who af tarwards were visited and butchered by Maoris from Hawkes Bay, are now almost extinct, and their strange carvings upon trees will soon be the only evidence of their exisfcan cc there. Or perhaps this forest ha* supplied the timbar for Te Mai Hara Nui's war oanoa fleet. At all events there are distinct marks where the Maoris bave felled tbeir trees with their axes or by burning- The steep incline leading to the Btoney Bay creek would make the

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task of getting the trunk to the sea comparatively easy STONEY BAY TIMBER MILL. holding the bush for over fifty years the value of the "land on which taxes bave been paid and tbe commercial value of timber bave forced Mr J. S. Boleyn to convert Ihe greater part of the bush info timber,. Twenty acres will, however, be reserved. A saw mill bas been in operation for twelve months, and it is estimated tbat a million feet of timber will be cut from this portion of the bush The cattle have been through the upper reaches of tbe bueb where it is being felled, so tbat the undergrowth bas almost disappeared, and in time the large trees would die. The trees are particularly fine timber trees, and already Mr F J. Heath, who is in charge of the mill, bas cut a great deal of timber. Tbis sample of timber is now almost unobtainable, and when it is remembered that the old homestead in Stoney Bay is sixty years old and the timber in it is as ,good almost as the day it was erected it can be imagined that the timber-is of great value. It will take seven years to convert tbis forest into tim ber. A trolly runs through the bush and the mill is equipped with the best machinery for handling tbe big log?..

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19150504.2.10

Bibliographic details

A DAY IN THE BUSH., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3456, 4 May 1915

Word Count
1,539

A DAY IN THE BUSH. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3456, 4 May 1915

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