The war against pests is now being fought in our backyards, and Predator Free Bay of Plenty is looking for people keen to lead the charge and bring native birds back to our neighbourhoods.

Predator Free Bay of Plenty is a community led, backyard trapping programme that aims to get a trap in every fifth backyard to rid our neighbourhoods of rats and mice.

"One rat can kill up to 50 native birds so the more people we have trapping in their backyards, the more native birds we will see." said Predator Free BOP Coordinator Emma Woods.

The initiative was inspired by the work of Kelvin Hastie whose crusade saw his Crofton Downs neighbourhood in Wellington became New Zealand's first predator free suburb in 2015. The goal is to achieve the same thing in the Bay of Plenty.

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Launched by Envirohub Bay of Plenty, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and the Bay Conservation Alliance, Predator Free BOP started in Matua but thanks to public interest has expanded to Merivale, Te Puke, Maketu, Little Waihi, Paengaroa and Pukehina.

"The interest has been amazing but we are keen to keep growing and go region wide. As proven in Wellington, if we can get a trap in every fifth house, we'll give our native birds a fighting chance." Woods said.

To help get more people enlisted, Predator Free BOP is holding free workshops for people to learn about backyard trapping and become community leaders.

"At the workshop you'll learn what's involved in backyard trapping, get a feel for what's involved in being a community leader and what support is available for you. There will also be a chance to ask questions and you will walk away with your own trap so you can get trapping."

What: Predator Free community start-up workshop
Where: Balcony Room, Historic Village, 17th Ave
When: Saturday November 24 10am to 11am or Tuesday November 27 5.30pm to 6.30pm