Southland Environmental ‘Action on the Ground’ Folk Honoured.

SERN’s heartiest congratulations go to Estelle Leask, Bluff and Mark Sutton, Te Anau on their recent MNZM awards for services to conservation. Both will be well known to members of the SERN community, having been involved in field days we have had in the past.

Estelle is a main driver of the Bluff Hill/Motopohue Restoration project and more recently been involved in the establishment of Te Korowai Whakahou plant nursery. Beyond her local area, she has also been instrumental in Predator Free projects for Rakiura and Auckland Island, a trustee on the Whenua Hou Komiti and a member of the Southland Conservation Board.

Mark led our 2021 Spring Field Day through the lower Waiau, highlighting the amazing work he’s been involved in as a manager with the Waiau Trust, along with being the QEII National Trust representative for the Waiau Catchment. Mark developed his love of wetlands, and what lives in them, from his father, Roger Sutton, another well known environmentalist in Southland through the 1970’s to early 2000’s. Interestingly Roger was awarded an MBE 36 years ago in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list! Mark’s focus is on habitat creation and land management to improve wildlife outcomes and water quality.