Friends of Roland's Wood

Community activities of the Kerikeri Rotary Club

Update June 2014

The Kerikeri Rotary Club is no longer involved in maintaining or contributing towards Roland's Wood as a Club, though individuals may still be involved.
Discussions are underway about the long term Trusteeship of Roland's Wood.  For more information please contact John Horrell, Kerikeri.

Roland's Wood

Our Club is involved in developing the existing park down Inlet Road, in conjunction with the park trustees. The freshly maintained park will be launched during this year's Garden Safari.

Rolands Wood
Photo: Rolands wood in spring

Roland Sanson was a well-liked Kerikeri personality who died in June 2001 bequeathing the community a real gem of ten acres of young woodland. "Roland's Wood" is now vested in the FNDC, administrated by a Trust he set up. The Kerikeri Rotary Club with help from the local community known as "Friends of Roland" have recently taken on the task of restoring and developing the woodland further.
Quite unique in Northland it comprises a large range of deciduous trees, the oldest probably 25 years old and the youngest about 10. Many of the plantings have reached canopy coverage and a thick mantle of leave is now suppressing the grass. Over time the best specimens will be retained whilst a selective thinning will allow those reaming to maximize their growth and beauty.

Rolands Wood
Photo: Roland's Wood in the Garden Safari 2009

On visiting England, Roland had been greatly impressed with the woodland parks there and had the vision of creating a similar woodland hue with bluebells and daffodils under the trees.
Roland chose the site well. Plenty of flat land that is now well sheltered, rich volcanic soil sloping down into a swampy gully. With a little imagination excellent possibilities exist for gentle walkways and interesting rock and water features. The property has also come with a few challenges in the form of Tobacco weed, Taiwan Cherry, Gorse, and Kapok weed but we are confident we can turn what is already a most attractive area , into a parkland of outstanding beauty.

Rolands Wood
Photo: Picnicking in Roland's Wood

It is a magnificent gift to the community and what was important to Roland, a place where they can walk their dogs.
The Rotary Club is grateful for help received or promised from a number of local businesses and the FNDC.
If anyone would like to become a "Friend of Roland" and help us develop this wonderful asset further, please contact Rotarian John Graham (ph: 09 407 9510).
Wonderment at the accomplishments of club members John Graham, John Horrell and numerous other helpers in developing Roland's Wood from a neglected, overgrown condition into its present park-like state, was felt by all those who gathered for a picnic there on Friday evening 11th February 2011. The balmy February warmth perfect for dinner near the trees that are starting to form a blanketing canopy in many areas.