In the “Exploring nature with children booklet

You don't need a lot of space to appreciate, explore and extend nature in your own backyard. Even if you have an inner city apartment with a small balcony there should be room for a potted herb or flower garden that attracts insects and space for a worm farm to create your own compost.

If you're lucky enough to have a small bit of land and want to encourage wildlife into your backyard, it is all about making it safe and welcoming for your visitors. You need to ensure there is a strong network of food available all year round by planting for birds, and creating 'wild places' for insects and lizards. Essentially you want to strengthen your biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Involve your kids in this, they will love it, and it's a great learning opportunity for the whole family.

If you would like to get more 'hand's on', but don't have your own land, get involved in a local community conservation project – there are hundreds to choose from all over New Zealand. Regional, district and city councils and the Department of Conservation are good starting points and will be able to point you in the right direction.

House with native plants. Photo: DOC/Adrienne Grant.
Growing native plants like carex, libertia and dwarf flaxes provide habitat for native invertebrates and lizards and are easy to maintain.

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