Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest (Full Documentary)


The incredible story of how degraded gorse-infested farmland has been regenerated back into beautiful native forest. Host a screening of the film: While we’ve made this film free to watch on YouTube, if you’re holding a public screening you’ll need a license. We’ve made the fees very low to be accessible to all communities and we’ll be splitting the income with Hinewai Reserve. Check out to learn more about the film and screening licenses. Thank you for your support! Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a 30-minute documentary about Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”. Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool. ** Find out more about Hinewai Reserve** ** Find out more about Happen Films ** If you’re interested in supporting us to make more films, check out our Patreon profile: For more info about Happen Films, check out our website: You can watch our most recent feature film, Living the Change, at Find us on social media Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: ** Film credits ** Directed by Jordan Osmond & Antoinette Wilson Written by Antoinette Wilson, Jordan Osmond, and Nick Tucker Producer: Antoinette Wilson Executive producer: Quatro Trust Cinematography: Jordan Osmond & Jason Hosking Editing: Jordan Osmond Sound recording: Anna Veale Original score: Karl Steven and Ariana Tikao Sound mixing: James Henderson Color grade: Mike Kelland ** Subtitles and closed captions ** We love that so many people have translated for our films here on YouTube. If you’d like to be part of that community you can contribute by clicking the “…” below the video and selecting “Add translations” from the dropdown menu. Thanks for your help