Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust connecting the community
Since 2001, the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust has worked to preserve and enhance the area’s flora and fauna.
At the heart of the Trust are the people of Banks Peninsula, and as such it receives plenty of support from the community.
“A healthy, natural environment provides a solid foundation for everything that is of value to people – food, water, shelter, health,” says Volunteer Manager Sophie Hartnell.
“We want to inspire people to be passionate about the environment around them, to understand it and take action to protect and restore it. All of our programmes are designed to enable community members to actively sustain the natural environment across the Banks Peninsula.”
Collaboration is one of the most important aspects of the Trust’s overall vision, working with organisations including the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury, the Lyttelton Port Company and local schools.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without the support of these organisations – collaboration is an essential part of how we operate.”
The Trust is community-driven, and facilitates the protection of biodiversity on private land through covenants.
“Covenants allow us to protect the land in perpetuity. We support the landowner through the covenanting process by seeking funding for fencing, covering legal aspects, and contracting ecological surveys to provide an ecological management plan for the area.”
The Trust has a 30-year ecological plan which outlines eight key priorities: old growth remnants, rare ecosystems, connections between land, freshwater and marine habitats, core areas of indigenous forest, land and freshwater management supporting indigenous biodiversity, indigenous flora and fauna, species reintroduction and pest-free Banks Peninsula.
Lyttelton’s Port Saddle is one of the Trust’s projects which strongly encourages community involvement.
The Trust has facilitated predator-control, plantings, workshops and other educational opportunities involving members of the community.
“We have kids coming from the local school to do their part in protecting the biodiversity along Port Saddle,” Sophie says.
“We have a lot of really passionate people in the community who want to preserve this great asset right on their doorstep – it’s amazing to see the land transforming as the project continues.”
The Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust receives multi-year funding from Rātā Foundation under the Sustain priority area.
For more information, visit the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust website: http://www.bpct.org.nz/