DoC launches new Conservation Volunteer Programme for Coromandel

Posted by DoC Media Release on 23/06/2011

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is launching a new volunteer programme this week that offers people in the Coromandel a chance to carry out valuable conservation work at some of the most beautiful and historic sites on the peninsula.

DOC’s Hauraki Area office in Thames has put together a brochure detailing 15 conservation projects which rangers will be supervising at locations throughout the Coromandel. (A pdf copy of the brochure is issued with this release.)

The first project is at Fletcher Bay campsite a wonderful beach location at the top of the peninsula. It is a four day project from August 23 to 26 with free accommodation provided at DOC’s comfortable Fletcher Bay Backpackers ranch style lodge.

Ten volunteers are needed to carry out planting, carry out earthworks before new grass is sown, weed control, fencing, track building and painting camp facilities. This shows the variety of work involved in these projects

The lengths of the projects vary. There are one day working bees at sites such as Cathedral Cove, south of Whitianga, Opito Bay Historic Reserve opposite the Mercury Islands and Fantail Bay Campsite near the top of the peninsula.

There are two day projects involving track maintenance on the Kauri Block Walk and Taumatawahine Walk near Coromandel and at on the Cookson Kauri walk and Wainora Tramping in the Kauaeranga Valley.

Five day projects are being run at Otama Beach, north east of Kuaotuna and Hot Water beach south of Whitianga.

There are also conservation projects being run over extended periods such as the Dotterel Watch Programme running during the dotterel’s breeding season from September 1 until February 28 next year. This involves people volunteering to protect, monitor and raise awareness of these endangered birds. They would keep an eye out for dotterels at beaches in area’s they live around the peninsula. It’s work that can be included in someone’s daily beach walk.

There’s also a volunteer project helping prevent the spread of Kauri Dieback disease that’s killing our native kauri trees. This involves attending sports events and ensuring the competitors are not spreading the soil born disease by ensuring participants are cleaning their footwear and equipment thoroughly. Volunteers would also attend non sporting events and to raise awareness of Kauri Dieback and the need to prevent it spreading.

“The volunteer projects provide a chance for people to spend time doing valuable conservation work at wonderful locations throughout the Coromandel,” says DOC Hauraki Area Manager, Melissa King-Howell.

“The volunteer projects offer opportunities to learn new skills, meet others with a shared interest in conservation, carry out useful conservation work and enjoy the outdoors.”

“The work is varied from maintenance work at our campgrounds, tracks and historic sites to dune protection, dotterel minding and helping prevent the spread of Kauri Dieback disease.”

“The volunteer work is a great help to DOC as it also enables us to increase the amount of core conservation work we do on the Peninsula,” says Melissa King-Howell.

The brochure detailing the volunteer projects and application forms will be available on the DOC website (www.doc.govt.nz/coromandelvolunteers) and from DOC offices in the Coromandel Peninsula.

For further information contact: Christine Friis 07 867 9180. email address: cfriis@doc.govt.nz

Christine is based at the DOC Hauraki Area Office in Thames

The expressed information is copyright of the Department of Conservation