The Poor Knights have always featured in my life. In the early sixties my parents bought a farm on the Tutukaka Coast where I grew up with the rest of my family and where my wife and two children live today. It just so happens that our farm is the closest point of the main land to the Poor Knights from where ever you are on the farm they lie right on the horizon dominating the view. My father who had a science degree and knew a lot about marine biology was good friends with many of the early pioneering scuba divers in particular Bill Palmer, would spend many evenings discussing with Bill his new finds. We also seemed to have a number of Poor Knights plants in our garden and a specially fenced paddock for a collection of flax snails that just so happened to be the same, as you would find on the Poor Knights.
Guy & Sandra Bowden are owners of Tawapou Coastal Natives Plant Nursery on the Tutukaka Coast. Guy grew up on the Tutukaka Coast and has been passionate about NZ native plants all his life. His interest was kindled by his conservationist parents who began protecting sections of native bush and pohutukaka on the cliffs of the property over forty years ago. Below Guy talks about The Poor Knights Islands in relation to location & geology; history; plants and birds on the islands; reptiles, insects and snails on the islands; marine life and the 1996 weed eradication programme.