Anamalai Rainforest Restoration Program

Rainforest plant nursery

For restoration of degraded rainforests, seedlings of a large diversity of native species are needed. Best results are obtained when these are raised from seed in a nursery. A well-stocked nursery is therefore crucial for any restoration program.

Nursery at Varattuparai estate, Tata Coffee

The rainforest plant nursery which forms the nucleus of our restoration program is currently located in Varattuparai estate in space provided by Tata Coffee Ltd, a socially and environmentally conscious partner company. The nursery currently houses around 20,000 saplings of around 80 native rainforest tree and liana species.

The nursery was initially housed in Injipara estate, in space provided by a former partner company. The nursery was initially established in 2001 with the support of the Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL). In 2006, these estates were purchased by Tea Estates India Ltd (TEIL) of the Woodbriar Group. After their purchase of these properties in early 2006, TEIL extended and continued this support enabling us to maintain this unique facility in Injipara till 2008.

Earlier nursery at Injipara

Over 125 species of native rainforest plant species (mostly trees and lianas and a few shrubs) have been raised successfully in the nursery over the last many years. These are all species of the mid-elevation tropical wet evergreen forests of the Anamalai hills region, including many endemic and threatened species.

Seeds for the nursery are collected every month from roads and trails through rainforest fragments, or edges between forests and plantations. Seedlings are raised using standard nursery techniques and are carefully tended throughout the year. Seedlings over 60 cm in height are planted out in the degraded fragments during the southwest monsoon every year.