How to Volunteer

Nelson’s diverse habitats and landscapes are supported by a network of volunteer organisations and individuals who work to enhance the existing wealth of plants and wildlife that make this city the beautiful place that it is. Voluntary work on our reserves might include litter collection, water monitoring, weed eradication, tree planting, or pest control. 

If you would like to be involved in being part of this effort, you can get in touch with any of the volunteer groups that are working in our area - listed below.

If you'd like to find out about setting up your own group, join our database of people interested in helping with volunteer efforts, and receive our fortnightly nature fix - a regular snippet of information and ideas on how you can help enhance Nelson's nature, click here.

Birdlife on Grampians

Birdlife on Grampians involves volunteers assisting in the restoration of native bird habitats on the Grampians, an iconic backdrop to our city, by targeting predators through a number of trap lines. The group has been working on enhancement of the Grampians area since 2009. Information about the project, including contact details, can be found on the group’s website:

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary

The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary is a registered charitable trust and a community based initiative working to create a pest free wildlife sanctuary close to Nelson City centre. A pest proof fence is expected to be complete by April 2016 and once in place, will assist in the re-creation of a historic piece of New Zealand landscape, providing a home for resident birds, reptiles and invertebrates and enabling the reintroduction of species previously lost from the area. Orientation sessions for new volunteers are held at the Brook Sanctuary Visitor Centre every 2 or 3 weeks. For information on how to participate in the activities of the Sanctuary, or to register online you can view the website at:

Centre of New Zealand / Botanics Trapping Group

The Centre of New Zealand / Botanics Trapping Group work to control pest animals on the Centre of New Zealand walkway and Botanical Hill Reserve, into Branford Park. The group are looking for volunteers to help with managing their trap lines, which are focused on rats and mice, in this much loved reserve in the heart of Nelson City. Contact:

Marsden Valley Trap Line

The Marsden Valley Trap Line works in the Jenkins Hill, Barnicoat Bridge and walkway, the Upper Marsden Valley and the Marsden Cemetery areas. The Group aims to reduce the presence of pest animals, such as rats, stoats, and possums, to enable the recovery of bird life in the area.  Thanks to many years of efforts by the group, bird numbers have increased, including the recent reports of Kaka returning to the area. Contact: Don Sullivan 547 7705 or

Paremata Flats Restoration Project

Paremata Flats Reserve on Cable Bay and Maori Pa Roads, contains diverse eco-systems including tidal and estuarine species, and includes a unique lowland forest. Paremata Flats is home to a small population of locally endangered Fernbird and Banded Rail. The Paremata Flats Restoration Project is involved in pest control, weed control, and the replanting of thousands of native plants to restore this precious landscape. In the last nine years, over 52,000 trees have been planted, and over 4,000 pests have been removed.

For information about the project, and contact details, you can view the website:

Titoki Reserve Native Recovery Group

The Titoki Reserve Native Recovery Group was formed in 2011 with the aim of restoring the native bush and bird life in the Atawhai area, focusing on the Titoki Reserve towards the top of Dodson Valley.  The group monitor a number of pest traps targeting rats, mice, stoats and possums, as well as working to eliminate invasive weeds. As well as some impressive Titoki Trees, which give the reserve its name, this lovely piece of forest has welcomed back Weka along with the population of native songbirds which make their home here. Contact: