Lindy Kelly at Kellys Bush with a her book 'Lost in the Bush' and empty shells of the giant carnivorous snail, powelliphanta, which have been found in the bush. Photo: Kate Russell.

‘Magical’ Kellys Bush opens to public for a day

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A “magical” piece of bush tucked behind Nelson city will be open to the public this weekend as part of conservation week.

Kellys Bush is an area of 5.7 hectares at Enner Glynn, and a 30 year bush restoration project there earned owner Lindy Kelly and her family recognition at the Eelco Boswijk awards last month.

The bush encompasses a rare 2.5 hectare piece of original lowland forest, which has been described by Nelson City Council as an ‘area of special significance’ and ‘locally uncommon’, due to its proximity to Nelson City and its richness in Tawa and Maitai.

It is home to trees from pre-European times, native birds, rare and endangered species of fungi, giant native earthworms and the giant carnivorous snail, powelliphanta.

A successful open day last November attracted over 200 people, and Lindy wants to hold another open day since they can’t open the bush to the public all the time.

Many schools, kindergartens and community groups have been involved with the restoration work over the years, which provides a great opportunity for people to learn more about the native bush, and Lindy hopes to keep that going.

She says that walking trails, picnic areas, bridges and a shade house for school children to grow native trees, all help to make the forest ‘place of active learning.’

“We love having school and kindergarten groups up here and they are always welcome to arrange visits. We want to make it a place of recreation and education – it’s about engaging children in nature and enjoying the bush,” she says.

“This is a magical place and we want to share it with people.”

Lindy says her grandchildren also love to help out, and her 12 year old grandson recently spent the whole day helping her plant trees in the rain.

She says they are always looking for new volunteers to help with planting and clearing weeds, and they are also in the process of putting a QE11 covenant over the bush.

“It’s a sure way of protecting the bush for life,” she says.

Kellys Bush will be open to the public this Sunday, 18 September, from 1-4pm, rain or shine, as part of conservation week. The address is 100 Enner Glynn Rd and there will be signs up. No dogs, please.