As conservation week beckons the Department of Conservation is encouraging people to look in their backyard and see how they can help protect and nurture the country's wildlife.

Conservation Week runs from October 14-22 and this year DOC hopes people will convert their love of nature into action this week.

The Whangawehi Management Catchment Group is getting involved, bringing together conservation experts and holding a free Predator Control Workshop at Mahia on October 17.

Community ranger Malcolm Smith said even small actions make a big difference and this workshop would focus on the "how".

"It's going to be very practical."


"We know the vast majority of New Zealanders (85 per cent) rate conservation as important to them personally, yet still only about one in 10 have actively helped on a conservation project.

"Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard. It's great to see momentum gathering as more communities band together to make their own areas predator free."

At the workshop, trapping experts will share their practical knowledge.

Darren Peters is the national predator control officer for DOC and has been involved at the cutting edge of predator control for many years, while Rod Dickson, who has been at the forefront of the Cape-to-City predator control project in Hawke's Bay, is also keen to share his expertise.

Sam Gibson, a technical adviser for Good Nature, will demonstrate the finer points of using their revolutionary self-resetting traps.

The workshop runs from 9.30am to 3pm and is free to attend, but people must register to confirm their place.

Events like the Whangawehi Management Catchment Group's Predator Control Workshop help communities take steps towards a predator-free New Zealand.

For further details about Conservation Week and to register for events, visit