To start the year the BCG traded suits for gumboots, heading on a field trip to Christchurch to see the work of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust and discuss what makes an intervention successful on the ground. We were hosted by members of the Trust in Fisherman’s Bay and heard about the successful protection of the largest mainland colony of little penguin at Flea Bay. We also heard about their concerns regarding regulation. The trip also included a number of ‘class room’ sessions with presentations from Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research about naturally uncommon ecosystems classification, and from ecologists about criteria for identifying areas of significant biodiversity value, Department of Conservation’s Canterbury office on South Island biodiversity loss and recurrent issues the Canterbury office encounters, and their suggestions for where national direction would add value. Christchurch City Council spoke to the group about urban restoration and potential incentive tools, and the Regional Council described its biodiversity strategy and the collaborative biodiversity restoration programme for Lake Ellesmere being carried out under the auspices of the Te Waihora co-governance agreement.
Banks Peninsula, Christchurch (Photo credit: Brooke Cox