2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Forests

Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest

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Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a finalist in the My Forest Long Form category sponsored by Fable & Mane

Happen Films

"Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest" is a 30-minute documentary about Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced "weed" gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.


Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

  • Runtime
    29 minutes