Fools and Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest

Premiere Screening of "Fools and Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest". A documentary by Happen Films.

Q&A with Jason Hosking - Nature & Wildlife photographer, Aerial cinemaphotographer/camera/photographer for Fools & Dreamers.

Fools & Dreamers is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 32 years, renowned botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plan to allow gorse to grow as a nurse canopy for self-sown native seedlings, the response was sceptical at best and outright angry and disparaging for the most part – one farmer stating the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”. Now considered a local hero by town and country folk alike, Hugh’s home at Hinewai overlooks a valley resplendent in native forest canopy, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are now in permanent flow. 

An inspiring, charismatic personality, Hugh’s passion and enthusiasm for his life’s project come through in every word he speaks.

 A dreamer who has made his dream come true, Hugh has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.


Gold coin donation, proceeds go to Hinewai Reserve and ecological restoration project.