The Southwell Bush was registered as a place of “natural beauty” in the Hamilton Scheme in 1975. It is a rare remnant of the vast kahikatea forests that once covered the Claudelands area.
The school sees itself as the custodian of a treasure. Extensive replanting has taken place to remediate damage and begin a process of restoration. A goal is to increase the biodiversity of this ecosystem. Native species in the bush currently include Kahikatea, Rimu, Totara, Manuka and Ponga. It has resident moreporks, fantails, kingfishers and most recently tuis. The Bush is fenced off to allow regrowth, but visitors can sense the wonder of the old forest as they walk along boardwalk to access the playing fields.