Get involved with conservation groups working with DOC in Nelson/Tasman.

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:

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust

Aim: To protect and enhance biodiversity and improve the visitor experience in Abel Tasman National Park. The trust is is a partnership between commercial operators, the community and DOC. A project controlling wilding pines in the the park is underway. 

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust website

Forest & Bird's Te Hoiere Bat Recovery Project

Aim: To protect long-tailed bats and other wildlife at Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve by trapping predators. Volunteers are needed to check trap lines.


Te Hoiere Bat Recovery Project on Forest & Bird's website

Friends of Cobb

Aim: To reduce predation by stoats of vulnerable bird species (great spotted kiwi, blue duck, kea, kaka, falcon) in the Cobb Valley, Kahurangi National Park. Volunteers are needed to check trap lines.. 

Contact: Marian Milne

Friends of Cobb Facebook page

Friends of Flora

Aim: To bring the birdsong back to the Flora Stream area of Kahurangi National Park. The friends, in partnership with DOC, maintain more than 65 km of stoat and trap lines over 5000 ha. Supporters can volunteer, get a newsletter and donate. 

Friends of Flora website and Facebook page

Friends of Mangarakau

Aim: To restore and maintain the 350 ha Mangarakau Wetland, south of Farewell Spit. The friends actively plant and maintain an extensive trapping network, as well as trapping in the neighbouring Mangarakau Scenic Reserve to protect the endemic giant land snails from rat predation. The wetland reserve has a field base which sleeps 13 people and is available for overnight accommodation.

Friends of Mangaraukau website

Contact Robyn Jones +64 3 524 8266 or

Friends of Paynes Ford

Aim: To protect the flora and fauna of Paynes Ford Scenic Reserve from predation by possums, stoats and rats and competition from weeds. The group has established a network of traps through the forested part of the reserve and work to eliminate old mans beard, banana passionfruit and tradescantia.

Contact: Celia Butler +64 3 525 9093 or

Friends of Pearl Creek

Aim: To maintain Pearl Creek, a well-established riparian restoration project on the Waimea Estuary. Pearl Creek is regionally significant in providing wetland and stream habitat for the nationally at risk kōkopu, long fin eel and inanga. The friends hold regular working bees and planting days. 


Nelson-Tasman branch web page

Friends of Rotoiti

Aim: To to enhance the work being done in the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project mainland island by controlling introduced pests - stoats, rats, possums, wasps and feral cats. The friends build, set and monitor traps lines, conduct wasp and stoat bait trials and assist with lizard and robin monitoring. 

Friends of Rotoiti on Kiwis for Kiwi website

HealthPost Nature Trust

Aim: To create a wondrous, accessible nature sanctuary at Wharariki/ Farewell Spit. We will enable native species to flourish by controlling predators and re-establishing rare and threatened species. It will be a place for people to experience this unique landform as a thriving and diverse ecosystem.

HealthPost Nature Trust website

Contact: Marian Milne

Keep Golden Bay Beautiful

Aim: To enhance Golden Bay by beautifying the area with amenity plantings and improving the area by cleaning up the environment, and cleaning up waterways by carrying out riparian plantings. Volunteers can help with clean ups, plantings, releasing of plants and potting up, also phoning, providing smokos for our working bees or enthusing other people.

Contact: Kathy Hindmarsh +64 3 525 8332 or

Murchison Environmental Care Group

Aim: To plant riparian strips in native vegetation and control pests at Six Mile Walkway, 10 km south of Murchison. The Group built a community nursery to provide native plants  and teaches native plant propagation techniques.

Contact Dave Seeley, DOC Ranger, Murchison Field Base, +64 3 523 1006 or

Natureland Wildlife Trust

Aim: To breed South Island kaka and yellow-crowned kakariki for release into Abel Tasman National Park by their partners Project Janszoon. This trust is a community-based conservation charity and is also the primary rehabilitation facility for native species in the Top of the South.

Natureland Wildlife Trust Website

Onekaka Biodiversity Group

Aim: To restore and protect the Onekaka River, from the Onekaka Estuary to Kahurangi National Park, including Washbourne Scenic Reserve. The reserve contains a remnant of tall podocarp/beech dominated lowland forest and the group maintains a network of traps targeting rats, mustelids and possums. The group has assisted in planting and releasing plants as part of a riparian restoration project along the Onekaka River.The group monitors the effects the operation of the Onekaka hydro scheme has on the river.

Contact Thora Blithe +64 3 525 6009 or

Ornithological Society of New Zealand Rock Wren Project

Aim: To protect rock wren at Hendersen Basin from stoat predation and to monitor the breeding success of rock wren. A number of birds have been banded to assist collection of data on longevity, mortality, dispersal, and health.

Contact: Richard Stocker +64 3 525 8243 or or Chris Petyt +64 3 525 8154

Otuwhero Trust

Aim: To preserve and restore to as natural a state as possible the Otuwhero wetland and to protect and support threatened ecosystems and biodiversity within the wetland area

Website: Otuwhero Trust

Paremata Flats restoration

Aim: To protect native birds in the area by trapping rats and stoats and planting native species. It's a project of the Nelson branch of Forest & Bird, at Paremata Flats Reserve, Maori Pa Road, Rotokura/Cable Bay.

Paremata Flats restoration project on Forest & Bird website


Tasman Environment Trust

Aim: To achieve environmental gains in the Nelson Tasman region, including increasing the number of banded rail and other wildlife on the Waimea Inlet. ​We are doing this by involving local communities in the restoration of habitat and trapping predators.

The Tasman Environmental Trust website

Torrent Bay pest control

Aim: To restore the habitat by controlling plant and animal pests at Torrent Bay, a beach in Abel Tasman National Park. Residents are actively involved in conservation with the Tasman District Council, DOC and tourist operators. 

Contact: Bud +64 3 545 0640 or

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