The Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust aims to promote the conservation and enhancement of indigenous biodiversity and sustainable land management on Banks Peninsula.
Our work is helping to create an environment where the community value, protect, and care for the biodiversity, landscapes, and special character of the Peninsula.
The Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 2001 as a charitable trust registered with the Charities Commission. It was formed as a community organisation to protect significant biodiversity on the Peninsula by creating voluntary conservation covenants on private land. The Trust also undertakes a wide range of biodiversity and community engagement activities, all by collaborating with landowners, agencies, and other community groups.
Unique Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula (or Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū) is a unique region of about 1000 square kilometres, beside the metropolitan area of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand.
Banks Peninsula was originally named Banks Island by Captain Cook in 1769 who did not realise that Banks Peninsula was joined to the rest of the South Island. One million years ago he would have been correct, as the region has been an island for most of its existence.
This isolatıon, together with the fertile volcanic soils, adequate rainfall and benign climate has made Banks Island a unique and special part of this land. It has developed its own endemic flora and fauna, much of which is in serious risk of decline or extinction. Under Māori occupation, the Peninsula was mainly clothed in naıve forest, but with European settlement this original bush cover reduced to about 1%. However natural regeneration has now increased forest cover to nearer 18%.
A significant number of birds, and some plants and insects have become extinct over the period of human occupation. Banks Island has also acquired predators and weed pests, many of which pose a real threat to the survival of our naıve flora and fauna.
Banks peninsula is a working and living landscape where productive farmland is interspersed with a small number of original bush remnants, areas of regenerating natıve forest, and small settlements. All this is superimposed onto a unique volcanic hill country. It is geographically discrete, being bounded to the north, eastern and southern boundaries by the Pacific Ocean and to the west by intensively farmed land and metropolitan Christchurch City.