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Natural Environment

The Nelson region, which stretches from the Waimea Inlet to Cape Soucis, features a diverse natural environment of forests, estuaries, dunes, streams and rivers, and the unique mineral belt of Dun Mountain.

The Nelson coast, estuaries, valley floors and the lower slopes of the Bryant Range have been much changed by centuries of Maori and European settlement and activity.

Today we still have extensive areas of inland beech forest, tiny remnants of lowland and coastal broadleaved forest and podocarp forest, and very few, small freshwater wetlands.

Most of the original estuary-margin vegetation has gone. Very few lowland near-coastal areas are protected, with some of these areas being under QEII covenants or in DoC Scenic Reserves.

There are quite large tracts of regenerating native vegetation toward the coast where farmed hill country has reverted to forest. Imported predator pests have reduced the ecological values of much of the remaining forest areas.

Nelson Nature is working to protect and enhance three key environment areas: