McHugh’s Forest was established in 1893 to provide shelter & timber in an area where no natural forests occurred. It is a mixed exotic conifer plantation dominated by large Douglas-fir, but also containing good examples of radiata pine, macrocarpa, larch, spruce, Corsican pine and cedar along with some oak & silver wattle.
Many of the trees you see today date from the original plantings & the forest is considered to be one of the finest Douglas-fir stands in New Zealand.
The understory of shrubs (mostly native) & weeds was mainly seeded by birds of which some 19 different species have been observed by birdwatchers.
Formerly part of the Selwyn Plantation Board’s forest holdings, the forest is now in the ownership of the Selwyn District Council and open for the public to enjoy.