Conservation Week 2015 is a chance to get active outdoors and look after New Zealand’s natural world, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.
“The theme for 2015 is ‘Healthy Nature, Healthy People’ and it’s about the link between looking after our special natural places and the tangible health benefits you can enjoy from experiencing them.”
“We want New Zealanders to get out into our conservation land, whether it’s for exercise, relaxation, getting away from it all or helping out with one of the hundreds of different groups doing great work to protect our natural heritage.”
Department of Conservation figures show 77 per cent of New Zealanders visited conservation areas last year, with one in ten helping with projects like tree planting, pest control and weeding.
“Almost a third of visitors to conservation land do it for the physical challenge and a quarter to improve their health,” Ms Barry says.
“Research from the University of Otago published in 2013 has also highlighted the physical and mental health benefits people get from taking part in outdoor activities and conservation efforts.”
The most popular activities on conservation land are short walks, sightseeing and picnics, but people also enjoy getting out camping, tramping, mountain biking and swimming.
Conservation Week 2015 will see an exciting programme of activities and events across the country, including a national geo-caching challenge and an eco-race.