A New Zealand couple has donated land worth millions to a conservation charity to protect it from development and ensure that it remains pristine and beautiful for the future generations.
Dick and Jillian Jardine are donating 900 hectares of their Remarkables Station to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, a non-profit that protects the nation’s natural heritage.
This stretch of land is situated at the foot of the Remarkables range by the edge of Lake Wakatipu and has been owned by the Jardine family for close to 100 years now. It is one of the most recognizable and scenic lands in New Zealand.
It was purchased by Dick Jardine’s grandfather way back in 1922 and the family has reared a wide range of animals such as sheep, cattle, and deer on it.
Inspite of being approached by many overseas commercial developers, the Jardines, who are also well-known philanthropists, declined the offers to ensure that the pristine beauty of the property was protected for posterity.
“We thought about this idea and it just stuck so it feels like the right thing to do,” Jillian said. “We want to keep it as it is forever, we don’t want buildings all over it or housing, there’s so much housing going in … we want to be part of saving something.”
“It is worth a lot of money but we don’t need it,” she said, declining to put a value on the beautiful property.
The trust’s chair, Bruce Wills, said, “Open landscapes in the Wakatipu basin have come under increasing pressure from subdivision and commercial development driven by the twin pressures of population growth and tourism.
“But the wide-open landscapes of the district are the very values that have attracted both tourists and new residents to the area.”
Dick Jardine said that his family was very happy to donate this large piece of beautiful land of Remarkables Station into QEII’s care.
“Having QEII as the caretaker of this property gives us the comfort and assurance to proudly pass over this gift for all New Zealand to enjoy and appreciate.”
Isn’t this an amazing gesture by the Jardines? How many such selfless philanthropists do you know? Let us know your views in the comments section below.1