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About Us


Fernglen, named after the family home in England, was purchased by the Fisher family in July 1888. The property consisted of a mix of native bush and scrubland. Part of the scrubland was cleared for market gardening and grazing, and the native bush area was interplanted with pohutukawa, rimu and kahikatea in the early 1920s.

Fernglen has been used for education and research since the 1920s by such people as T.F. Cheeseman of the Auckland Museum, Professor Lancaster of the Auckland University, H.B. Dobbie, Frank Fisher and his son William and by Muriel Fisher. More about the history of Fernglen

Education Centre

Education Centre
Education Centre

Fernglen has been visited by many people from horticultural groups, Unitec students and schoolchildren. It became clear early on that Fernglen required a building that could cater for schoolchildren and visitors. It was Fernglen's good fortune that Peter Thomas, a member of the Birkenhead Rotary Club, took a keen interest in the gardens and it was through his recommendation the education centre was built thanks to the fund-raising effort of the Birkenhead Rotary Club and supported by the former North Shore City Council, Auckland Savings Bank, Utility Corporation and other well-wishers the project came together.

Fernglen Education Centre Inside view
Inside the Education Centre

Rotarian and architect, Murray Day, designed the building and has produced a wonderful concept that blends naturally into the Fernglen site. Jack Rogers built the classroom and he did a splendid job with the absolute munimum of disturbance to plants. Members of Rotary spent many weekends putting the finishing touches to the building to reduce costs. The building has been furnished and set up as a classroom and visitors' centre and is ideal for the purpose. More about classroom visits to Fernglen.

Thanks to Birkenhead Rotary Club, Fernglen has a well-equipped education facility which was completed in 1997.

Friends of Fernglen

As Fernglen grows, it needs continued support from interested members of the community. One way to show your support is by joining the mailing list and receive newsletters every quarter. Fernglen is reliant on the community to assist with working bees and financial support to assist in maintaining and growing its rare plant collection.