Gorse is valued for its role in starting the rapid development of native forest. At Hinewai Reserve on Banks Peninsula, shade-tolerant plants such as māhoe and poroporo grew under ageing gorse and quickly pushed through the collapsing gorse stems. The photo on the left was taken under 15-year-old gorse, soon after browsing animals were removed from the reserve. There is a dense litter of gorse leaves and twigs and no seedlings. The same site three years later (right) shows many māhoe and poroporo seedlings.
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Photographs by Hugh Wilson
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