The Hollis Bush reserve was preserved as a forest remnant when the Hollis farm was established – one of the first farms in the district.
Some of this land was sold to the Waihi Golf Club which operated until the early 1950’s, and later it was bought by the Education Department to house the new Waihi College.
Over those years of farming and use as a golf course, the bush had been open to animals and grazed down. Re-growth has gradually occurred during the past 60 years and the it is slowly regenerating, with the help of a few planting days conducted by Forest & Bird College pupils have also played a role in the re-planting of this area.
HELP (Waihi) Inc has also carried out spray work to knock back tradescantia in this area, but this still remains to be a problem. The Valder Trust (Waikato Forest and Bird branch) gave over $1000 to help eradicate some exotics growing within the bush fringe and to cover some costs associated with tradescantia and honeysuckle spraying.
Hollis Bush is a hectare in size and has a formed track through the centre. Presently, Hollis Bush Reserve contains a large canopy tawa, with occasional kahikatea, rimu, rewarewa and hinau. Undergrowth varies from a dense cover of ferns and low shrubs, or nikau regeneration to areas of spare ground cover (caused by the movement of people).
Forest and Bird has erected a sign near one entrance which outlines the history of the bush and farm.
In 2010 Waihi branch members carried out possum trapping (using Timms Traps) and a bait station control to reduce pest numbers. Further activity is planned this year.
We hope to carry out further edge planting to increase the size of the bush and to remove weedy pockets which are not part of the regular College mowing. Eradication of exotic weeds such as prunus, Jerusalem berry and privet is a continual project as these are constantly renewed by birds.