Welcome to our Team

Hi! We’re Richard and Rose Margesson, the founders and directors of Free The Tree Ltd.

Why did we start a biosecurity and conservation business?

The seed was planted five years ago when Richard walked the length of NZ to find out if nature immersion could cure the Post Traumatic Stress that had followed him from his Army career. The results were profound and long lasting! He decided to quit psychotherapy and work outdoors. Volunteer work soon led to full-time work as the Team Leader of an eco-restoration crew here on Waiheke Island.

But, when he grew dissatisfied with corporate oversight from the mainland, he and Rose- who has a strong business background- took the plunge and formed Free The Tree Ltd as a local business on Waiheke.

Richard makes a unique contribution to conservation by applying military systems and tactics to get the job done fast, efficiently and with thoroughness.

In his spare time, he advocates for the wellbeing of service people and other frontline public servants through public speaking and his Trust, “Walk Off War”.

He proudly serves on the Committee of Friends of McKenzie Reserve, a local nature reserve, and as a Trustee of the Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust. He is also a member of the Waiheke Collective, which brings together many of Waiheke Island’s conservation initiatives, including Te Korowai o Waiheke (Predator Free Waiheke.)

What We Believe

The skills, mindset and work ethic that you learn in the military can be transferred directly to conservation strategies and field work.

Richard Margesson

Waiheke Island, as one of the world’s few urban islands, is also the second-most pest plant infested island in the world. We love showing property owners how to build biodiversity in their own backyards.

Rose Margesson

If “winning hearts and minds” is the critical factor in a successful military counter-insurgency campaign, then building local strengths and resources will be the critical factor in restoring our extraordinary biodiversity for our children and grandchildren

Richard Margesson

Let’s build your biodiversity story, together.