It has a cute, woodsy name and Northland school children think it's great but ELF is not all about delivering a fairy tale ending.

A fund that shares its name with a children's storybook creature is playing a big role in killing other creatures.

ELF (Environmental Leaders Fund) is an annual Northland Regional Council (NRC) fund that has this year allocated an extra $10,000 worth of pest killing, trapping and tracking equipment to 17 schools.

Regional councillor Joce Yeoman said the contestable fund aims to support Northland schools and students to increase their environmental knowledge, passion and practice.


Schools put forward their cases for receiving the environmental funding for specific projects.

This year's extra biosecurity-targeted funding has bought seven live capture traps, 55 possum traps, 90 rat traps, 35 stoat/rat/ hedgehog traps, 130 leg hold traps, various other rat/mouse traps and baits and tracking materials for monitoring.

"Additionally, there are four motion-activated trail cameras with a night vision capability which schools can borrow," Yeoman said.

Her local school at Hukerenui recently took delivery recently of the five Timms (possum) traps and five rat traps it was allocated through the ELF process. The school will also borrow one of the trail cameras for its pest control work.

Hukerenui School principal Bastienne Kruger said the students were grateful for the traps, which about 35 of its 160 pupils will put to good use as part of their pest control work within the Enviroschools initiative.

"These children actually run the programme themselves. From working with teachers, to teaching the classes and planning; it's all student-led and I think that's very important," Kruger said.

Of the 35 schools (including Hukerenui) which received some of this year's $30,000 of overall ELF funding, all but one are members of the national Enviroschools programme, a school-wide approach to sustainability.

Introduced to Northland by the NRC in 2004, there are now more than 90 schools and kindergartens in the programme region-wide.


Applications for ELF can be made for up to $2000 funding, with projects relating to council's core business of biodiversity, biosecurity and water quality having a greater chance of success. All Northland schools will be notified when applications for the 2019 funding round opens next year.