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Ellerslie Supreme Award winner heads to the hills to create new exhibit

Bush Telly, the Supreme Award winner at last year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show, has headed to the hills to create their 2010 exhibit for the Southern Hemisphere’s premier flower show.

This year’s exhibit in the Christchurch International Airport Starlight Marquee will feature a musterer’s hut against a backdrop of Mount Cass and the rugged North Canterbury back country.

Last year the Christchurch-based natural history media unit of the New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network’s (NZERN) exhibit was a rustic shed (picture above) where the threat to New Zealand’s native biodiversity was discussed “over a cup of tea and a bit of cake”. The exhibit won Gold, the Supreme Award for Design Excellence and the overall Supreme Award.

Bush Telly Producer Mike Peters says this year they have headed to the hills to create an exhibit with farm gates, limestone boulders and “lots of rusted old junk” which has been collected and stockpiled for some months.

“As with last year, the aim of the exhibit will be to raise public awareness and encourage everyone to do their bit to look after New Zealand’s native plants and animals.”

During the five days of the Ellerslie International Flower Show, Bush Telly will use the exhibit as a film set to film 60 interviews with experts on various conservation topics about how to protect, maintain and restore New Zealand’s natural heritage. Many of the interviews will relate to Mount Cass and North Canterbury.

Being in the Starlight Marquee, Mr Peters says lighting will be an important part of this year’s filming. “The interviews will be filmed under an early dawn sky with sunrise colours or under a night sky peppered with stars.”

The exhibit, Bush Telly: the Sequel, will feature more than 200 rare native species from the Mount Cass area and the five different eco-systems found in the area.

More than 150 people will be on site during the Show.

“An important focus this year is having experts from DOC, ECan, the Christchurch City Council and Botanical Society available to talk to and educate visitors to Ellerslie about the plants, eco-systems and how everyone can help protect New Zealand’s landscape.”

Bush Telly was “absolutely surprised” at their phenomenal success at Ellerslie last year. Mr Peters says it was “quite humbling”.

“This year we guarantee visitors to Ellerslie an exhibit of the same high quality and professional standard.”

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