Get involved with conservation groups working with DOC in Canterbury.

Listed below are some volunteer based groups that you can get involved with. You'll learn new skills, meet like-minded people, contribute to conservation, and increase your connection to your local community and natural spaces.

For more conservation volunteer opportunities in Canterbury volunteer for a DOC project.

Ashley/Rakahuri Rivercare Group

Aim: To protect braided river birds on the Ashley River, near Rangiora. Different interest groups (gravel extractors, 4WDers and bird enthusiasts) work to make the Ashley River a safe place for birds such as black fronted terns, wrybill, blackbilled gulls, banded dotterels, oystercatchers. 

Ashley Rakahuri River Care Group website

Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust

Aim: To protect indigenous biodiversity and encourage sustainable land management on Banks Peninsula.

Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust website

Forest & Bird Christchurch Canterbury/West Coast

Aim: Work to protect New Zealand's native forests, threatened species and marine heritage for a healthier environment.

Forest & Bird website

Godley Head Heritage Trust

Aim: To preserve and maintain the remaining WWII coastal battery installations at Godley Head, Christchurch, to research and provide historical data about the Godley Head site and raise awareness and undertake educational activities. DOC administers the site with support from the Trust. 

Godley Head Heritage Trust website

Kurow Island Restoration Group

Aim: To turn the old landfill site of Kurow Island into a recreational and ecological area that benefits people, wildlife and the environment. Kurow Island, a 20 ha island formed by braided river geomorphic processes, is located in the Waitaki River between the two historic bridges into Kurow. The island is easily accessible with beautiful backwaters, walking tracks, gentle braids and roads.

Contact: Sandy Cameron +64 3 436 0447, Andy Chambers +64 3 4311843 

Lake Heron Conservation Group

Aim: To provide a safe breeding haven for waterfowl on Lake Heron by trapping predators. Lake Heron is an internationally important wildlife habitat, reflected by its status as wildlife refuge and nature reserve. 

Contact Ross at to go on the trapping roster or help with tasks such as shooting rabbits for bait. Contact our Raukapuka/Geraldine office to assist with bird counts, predator monitoring or planting.

Lindis Pass Conservation Group

Aim: To rid Lindis Pass Reserve of weeds, so that the snow tussock can be enjoyed in its full glory.

Contact DOC's Te Manahuna/Twizel office to join the group or take part in work days. 

Northern Pegasus Bay Coastcare

Aim: To care for the coast at Northern Pegasus Bay.

Contact: Greg Bennett or +64 3 314 7402

Ōhau Conservation Group

Aim: To protect the special values of the high country, around Lake Ōhau, South Canterbury. Concerned with the spread of wilding pines, but also with other weeds such as broom and sweet briar over the high country tussock grasslands around Lake Ōhau. 

Ōhau Conservation Trust website

Ōtumahua/Quail Island Restoration Trust

Aim: To restore Ōtumahua/Quail Island to to its former ecological glory through reforestation with appropriate native plantings and repopulation of bird, insect and reptile life, as well as the preservation of historic sites and recreational use on the island.

Ōtamahua/Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust website

Sage Reserve protection

Aim: To enhance and protect the biodiversity of Sage Reserve at Governors Bay by monitoring and removing pest plants and animals.

Contact: Tony Edney or +64 3 329 9868

Silverstream Reserve Group

Aim: To restore native vegetation in the 52-hectare Silverstrean Reserve in the Clarkville area of North Canterbury back. It features a clear stream, and is home to native invertebrates and tuna (eel). Group meets twice a week.


Summit Road Society

Aim: To enhance, preserve and protect the nature, beauty and open character of the hills of Banks Peninsula for people to enjoy. New volunteers are warmly welcomed to join any of three work parties. Tools can be supplied but it is essential volunteers organise their own transport. 

Summit Road Society website

Talbot Forest Working Group

Aim: To protect and enhance Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve at Geraldine. The reserve is It is a small remnant of extensive broadleaf/podocarp forests that once covered large areas of Canterbury. The group works with DOC to enhance and protect Talbot Forest through weed control, revegatation, recreational usage, interpretation, education and advocating for wildlife corridors.

Travis Wetland Trust

Aim: To restore Travis Wetland as a natural wetland system. Regular working days are held on the third Saturday of each month from 9 am–12 pm.

Contact: Denise Ford or +64 3 981 3805

Waihora Ellesmere Trust

Aim: To educate people about the values of Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, to promote better management practices to improve the health and biodiversity of the lake and its catchments.

Waihora Ellesmere Trust website

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