Our Vision

Our vision is to create a sanctuary for Central Southland native fauna and flora in our own 63ha block of native bush called Motu Ngahere (Island of Bush).

Motu Ngahere is one of the few remnant native forests in Central Southland that was once part of a large continuous forest that included the Forest Hill Reserve.

Currently over 100 native species have been recorded including large, mature podocarp and rata, supported by a diverse understory of hardwoods, ferns and some rare threatened plants such as white mistletoe (Tupeia antartica). The limestone substrate and associated outcrops create interesting features and provide habitats for some of the more unusual plants on the site. The open paddocks at the top provide views across Southland where you can even see Stewart Island on a clear day!

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Threats affecting Motu Ngahere

Before 2019 Motu Ngahere had no real pest prevention or control. Since then we worked hard to identify key threats to the success and viability of the sanctuary. These included:

  • Small mammalian pests including:
    - mustelids
    - rodents
    - possums
    - hedgehogs
    - cats
    - rabbits/hares
  • Large browsers including:
    - deer
    - goats
    - pigs
  • Various species of pest plants including:
    - elderberry
    - gorse.
Native Bush AB Lime

Our Goal

The goal is to manage the site in an environmentally sensitive manner that will enhance the farm, provide recreational opportunities for the staff and local community and provide a haven for local flora and fauna species. To do this AB Lime set out a series of objectives to be met that include the following:

  • To protect and restore the ecosystem values in Motu Ngahere
  • To manage the wider site in a way that supports and is sensitive to the environment
  • To restore and create habitat for native species
  • To reintroduce rare native species
  • To create a place people can visit, enjoy and see rare species.
nursery manuka edited


Tamariki e Motu Ngahere (Nursery)

AB Lime has its own native tree nursery to complement the conservation and restoration of Motu Ngahere and other planting projects onsite. Ollie, AB Lime's Conservation Ranger, collects seeds from Motu Ngahere and germinates them in a greenhouse. Once the seedlings are transplanted into larger sized containers, they continue to grow until they are large enough to be planted in one of many AB Lime environmental projects.

The nursery is large enough to hold 40,000 medium sized plants and the plan is to allow these plants to grow to approximately 1m in height before being planted. This means that these plants will have a better chance of becoming established than smaller seedlings and not be outcompeted by weeds, meaning less maintenance in the future and a better chance of survival.

Press bush


Winton company takes on Motu Ngahere restoration project
May 18, 2020

AB Lime is proud to have recently had our restoration project acknowledged by Predator Free NZ.

While still in its early stages this project is a focus for our business moving forward and part of our long-term goal to protect the very few original native bush remnants left in the area.

Read the article here.

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Proudly protecting our unique environment

As at 7 August 2021 total number of pests eliminated: 1,667


Large Pests



Small Pests



Plant Pests


Biodiversity Field Officer

AB Lime have had a full-time Biodiversity Field Officer since 2018. The range of work they are involved in includes:

  • Monitoring, including the use of foot tracking tunnels to gain more knowledge about the presence of pest mammals in Motu Ngahere
  • 5-minute bird counts to access bird life in the forest
  • Pest plant control
  • Pest animal control
  • Track cutting
  • Trap building and deployment
  • Seed collection and sowing for the propagation of native trees.

Our experienced soil nutrient specialists are on hand to offer you the best advice to unlock your soils nutrients. Give Liz or Grant a call today:

  • Liz Ferns - 027 434 7192
  • Grant - 027 438 0010                                  

Click on the button below for our full contact information.