A nature club is helping nurture a passion for the environment and the protection of delicate ecosystems in Ohau School students.
The club was started by Ohau School teacher Imogen Warren, an avid bird watcher and photographer, who initially ran the club for her own class one day a week.
However, the club quickly expanded and now more than 20 students from across the school have joined.
Mrs Warren said students use a lot of their spare time to weed, plant native plants and create habitats for lizards, insects and birds in the school's own block of native bush, growing a passion for nature which she is helping nurture.
The native bush block, once a playground where students would run around unaware of their damage to native vegetation, is now being cultivated by students to protect the ecosystem and keep pests at bay.
Mrs Warren said students had built two rat traps, successfully catching one rat, to protect the eggs of a morepork named Dusk that is often spotted in the school zone.
"We spent the winter feeding birds and monitoring types and numbers," she said.
"In our bush we are trying to promote our own native ecosystem and support the birds that way."
Mrs Warren said students have been learning how ecosystems work.
"Right from how the rotting vegetation supports the bugs and worms and then the birds.
"They have developed quite a keen interest in local bird life and wildlife and even know all the names of the birds we see," she said.
Students Tanisha Bevan and Emma Arcus, both 11, are attempting to attract butterflies by building protective barriers for a number of swan plants they have bought and will soon plant, and Byron Lammas, 10, said the club had been planting natives down a slope they call the 'mud slide'.
"Students would slide down it destroying the native plants but we have blocked it off now," he said.
The club has visited Nga Manu Nature reserve in Waikanae and today are visiting Zealandia in Wellington and will be visiting Kapiti Island next term.
Mrs Warren said the students are learning how others protect their bush and promote bird life and bringing those same practices back to the school.
"It's all about protecting nature for future generations."