DOC have set up a good online resource to help with understanding what a beech mast is and what can be done to help protect our native species.
What is a forest or beech ‘mast’?
Mast events are prolific flowering bursts among forest trees, like beech, over spring and summer. This flowering in turn leads to a bumper seed fall in the following autumn and the widely available seed on the forest floor drives a rapid increase in rat and stoat numbers.
Rats and stoats both prey on native species and the surge in the predator population puts vulnerable natives species under extreme pressure, particularly during the spring when birds are nesting and raising chicks.