Children of Tapora School who were part of the final planting last year that saw the completion of the project.
Endangered bitterns have returned to wetlands in Tapora and Pakiri, thanks to the efforts of local schoolchildren.
A total of 7500 trees have been planted over 13 years through the Trees for Survival programme, providing a vital habitat for the birds.
However, Earle Wright whose property neighbours the restored wetlands noticed the bitterns were prone to being run over.
“I had been chasing them off the road for years. They are quite hard to spot for motorists” he says.
Thanks to funding from Auckland Council, signs have been put up in Tapora and Pakiri encouraging motorists to look out for bitterns.
One particular ‘granddaddy bird’ is now known to children and residents in the area as Barry the Bittern.
“He has grown to a height of four foot. It has been great to see,” Earle says.