Show your backyard some love this Conservation Week, by getting involved in local activities and events. You can do this in your own backyard or in our wider New Zealand backyard.

The week starts on Saturday, and Department of Conservation community ranger Scotty Moore urges people to turn their love of nature into action, to help restore native bird numbers and protect our plants and animals.

We know 85 per cent of New Zealanders rate conservation as important to them, yet still only about one in 10 have actively helped on a conservation project, Mr Moore says.

Activities like trapping rats and stoats, planting natives and weeding in your own garden are a great way to make individual contributions, he says.

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We want to show people conservation can be done in your own backyard, gardens, parks and marine areas.

Even small actions make a big difference.

In Whanganui, plenty of Conservation Week activities are planned.

Join DoC for pink ragwort weeding at the Whitiau Scientific Reserve on Saturday, 9am-3pm. Pink ragwort is an invasive introduced plant that simply crowds out its native competition.

This is expected to be a physically challenging task and is restricted to volunteers 16 years and over.

Bushy Park volunteers plan two full days of work on Tuesday and Thursday, October 17 and 19, from 9am-4pm.

There s work to be done at Bushy Park, and volunteers can help with maintenance at the predator-fenced wildlife sanctuary on Tuesday and Thursday next week. Volunteers Maia Brooke (left) and Katherine Lockton are shown working on predator defences.
There s work to be done at Bushy Park, and volunteers can help with maintenance at the predator-fenced wildlife sanctuary on Tuesday and Thursday next week. Volunteers Maia Brooke (left) and Katherine Lockton are shown working on predator defences.

Traps and fencelines will be checked and maintained and some weed work carried out.

Spend a day alongside toutouwai (North Island robin), tieke (saddleback), and hihi (stitchbird) as you help to maintain their predator-fenced sanctuary.

Friends of Gordon Park, students from St Johns Hill School, and DoC rangers will band together for a tour of the wetland kahikatea forest fragment on No3 Line on Thursday, October 19 from 10-11.30am.

This will be followed by ti kouka (cabbage tree) planting and a sausage sizzle hosted by Whanganui Toyota.

Children are invited to learn what plants form the habitat at the park, and earn a Toyota Kiwi Guardians medal by finding the Toyota Kiwi Guardians plaque.

To wrap up Conservation Week, get together with like-minded families at Castlecliff Beach for a beach clean-up and recycling drive, on Saturday, October 21 from 2-4pm.

The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre will supply its mobile recycling trailer and DoC will supply plastic bags to dispose of any rubbish that cannot be recycled. A sausage sizzle will round off the day.

DoC operations manager Jasmine Hessell says getting out and taking care of our environment can also improve health and well-being.

Volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather, bearing in mind its changeable at this time of year.

-For further details about Whanganui events please contact Mr Moore on smoore@doc.govt.nz.

-Further information about Conservation Week is available on DoCs website at www.doc.govt.nz/conservationweek.