The volunteer programme restores and maintains native forest in designated areas of the Port Hills.

Port Hills volunteer planting; photo Neil MacBeth.

What to expect

Join Christchurch City Council Rangers for planting and maintenance days across the seasons in our unique and stunning Port Hills.

Volunteers plant native trees each winter and maintain them in spring and autumn to reduce competition from grass.

While less glamorous than planting, maintenance is the most critical part of ecological restoration success. Without regular maintenance for the first three years, plants wouldn't survive due to grass competition.

What to bring

  • Weather appropriate clothing – layers, rain jacket, hat
  • Sturdy footwear
  • If you can, gardening gloves and hedge clippers (but these will also be provided)
  • Water bottle and a snack.

Where to meet

Due to limited parking at the sites, we will be carpooling from Victoria Park. Meet at the car park behind Victoria Park Visitor Centre no later than 12.45pm.

The exception is planting days at Bowenvale Reserve – please park at 20 Swanton Drive.

Meeting point.


For more information email or contact Fiona on 027 506 1425 or

Volunteer days

Spade-dating Valentines Day event

Date: Friday 14 February

Time: 5.45 pm - 8pm

Meeting point: Top car park Victoria Park.

Find out more > (external link)

Autumn maintenance 

 This is one of the key steps in any restoration project. We will be clearing the grass and weeds from around last years plants to allow them to grow. 




SAT 22 Feb 1-3 pm Marleys Hill
SAT 29 Feb 1-3 pm Dry Bush
SAT 7 Mar 1-3 pm Bowenvale
SAT 21 Mar 1-3 pm Marleys Hill

Winter planting 




23 MAY 1-3 pm Marleys Hill
6 JUN 1-3 pm Bowenvale 
13 JUN 1-3 pm Dry Bush
20 JUN 1-3 pm Marleys Hill