History of Le Roys Bush & LSB Reserves

Le Roys Bush consists of 3 reserves: 
    • Le Roys Bush Reserve - the upper valley leading up to Onewa Road and Hinemoa Street
    • Little Shoal Bay Reserve - originally a salt water estuary running from Little Shoal Bay past Glade Place and Valley Road;
      now a mixed raupo and carex wetland/swamp
    • Lutners Reserve - the area at the eastern end of Dudding Park by the bowling club where the "maori gardens" and a tennis court used to be located; this area was bought by Dr Reginald Dudding the local doctor and Mr Lutner, the local chemist, off the back of a farm and donated to the public.
To simplify the naming and reduce confusion, the Le Roys Bush and Little Shoal Bay Reserves Management Committee decided in about 2010 to refer to the entire area as "Le Roys Bush".

Some history:
  • Local Maori knew the valley where Le Roys Bush lies as Te Uruwao (see Janet Watkins' notes)
  • A track known as the "Pipi Walk" ran down from the ridge where Wernham Place is now.
  • Mr Le Roy bought much of the upper valley in 1918 and acquired further areas over time
  • He added plants from Great Barrier and other parts of NZ to the native bush
  • 1947 - On Mr Le Roy's death, Forest & Bird initiated a public subscription to buy Le Roys Bush with support from the Prickett family of Maritime Terrace
  • Over time other parcels of land have been added to the reserve
  • The wetland area was overtaken by weeds - especially the invasive crack willow and pampas grass  - and the Birkenhead Borough Council started dumping fill in the wetland near the bottom of Maritime Tce
  • 1971 - control of Le Roys Bush passed to the North Shore Scenic Board with Janet Watkins as chair
  • 1971 - road opened across Little Shoal Bay
  • Early 1970s - local residents sat in front of bulldozers to prevent further fill being dumped in the wetland 
  • Mid 1970s - NS Scenic Board started to clear pines from Le Roys Bush and developed track from Le Roys down to Little Shoal Bay
  • 1989 - management of the reserves passed to the local body
  • 1990s - local volunteers started to clear the crack willow and pampas which was choking the wetland
  • 1997 - the Le Roys Bush & LSB Management Plan was released (revised in 1999)
  • 2007- the first of CEF grants from Auckland Council to resume control of the willows, pampas grass and other weeds
  • 2008 - Dr Hustler began scientific monitoring of kokopu in Le Roys Bush streams; 450 individuals identified by 2011
  • 2008 - work began on the "East of Highbury" project to clear bamboo and other weeds below the Highbury shops
  • 2010 - the North Shore City Council allocated funds to acquire properties at the top of Hinemoa Street and in Highbury
  • 2011 - an EIF grant was awarded to help clear wattles, monkey apples and other invasive trees from private property in Maritime Tce
  • 2012 - visible pampas and willows largely cleared in wetland
  • 2013 - work due to commence on extending the walking track to Highbury as part of the Kaipatiki Connections project

Can you help provide information about the creation and restoration of Le Roys Bush

We received a letter asking when restoration of Le Roys Bush began and it made us realise that we don't have a lot of details.
We have the page written by Janet WatkinsOriginal article by Janet Watkins who was chair of the North Shore Scenic Board in the 1980s
If you can help us with some information from your recollections or your family photo album, we'd like to hear from you:  LeRoysBush@gmail.com.

Le Roys Bush legal status - from a letter received via Auckland Council

1971 - gazette notice appointing the North Shore Scenic Board to have control of Le Roy’s Bush as a scenic reserve along with three other scenic reserves on the North Shore pursuant to the now repealed Reserves and Domains Act 1953.  
1980 - gazette notice classifying Le Roy’s Bush as a scenic reserve pursuant to section 19 (1) (a) of the current Reserves Act 1977.
1989 - Orders in Council for Local Government Reorganisation that established the North Shore City Council; ...  the duties of the North Shore Scenic Board were assumed by the new council and ... the Scenic Board was dissolved.  
After November 2010 all the responsibilities of the North Shore City Council would have been assumed by the Auckland Council. 
[A check of ] the titles containing the many parcels of land that make up the Le Roy’s Bush Scenic Reserve [...]  reveal that the reserve is held by the Crown.
 This means that the Le Roy’s Bush Scenic Reserve is held by the Crown through this department as a classified scenic reserve subject to section 19 (1) (a) of the Reserves Act 1977.   Auckland Council is the administering body for the reserve on behalf of the department and in terms of the 1977 Act controls and manages the reserve for scenic purposes. 

Note - parts of Le Roys Bush and Little Shoal Bay reserves belong to the Department of Conservation but are administered by the Auckland Council