Hugh Wilson, the manager of the Hinewai Nature Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary in the southeast corner of New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, is a man on a mission. With a passion for botany and ambition to spare, Hugh has been working towards reversing the destructive forces which threaten nature’s splendor. His efforts have been documented in the inspiring documentary, Fools and Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest.
The film follows Hugh as he sets out to restore an area of nearly 4,000 acres of native forest, replete with rolling hills of emerald, teeming waterfalls, and night skies filled with boundless stars. Many locals—especially farmers—considered his plan to employ gorse shrubs in regeneration efforts foolishness. Though it is often considered a nuisance to effective farming, gorse can be used as an engine promoting biodiversity and vegetation conservation when deployed properly; a fact which Hugh soon proved true.
Throughout his journey, Hugh offers an insight into his ecological philosophy; one which emphasizes that we must learn to stand back and let nature take its course instead of continuously destroying things. Technology can only take us so far; it’s essential to recognize and appreciate the basic building blocks of everyday life. As viewers watch this journey unfold before their eyes, they find themselves moved by Hugh’s tenacity to make a difference in even one small corner of our planet.
Fools and Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is more than just another documentary—it’s an affectionate tribute to one man’s vision for the future of our planet. By watching this film not only will you gain insight into how wonderful restoration projects can be but also witness how much impact one person can have on their environment if they just work hard enough for it. This is certainly an inspiring film that will motivate many viewers to go out there and make a positive change in their very own communities!