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 and where to meet

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.

There is an exception on planting and maintenance days at Bowenvale Reserve, the meeting place is at 20 Swanton Drive. Please be mindful of residents' access when parking. 

Meeting point.


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

Volunteer days

Port Hills Reserves Volunteer Days


Winter planting

Date Time Location
Saturday 23 May 12.45pm to 3.15pm Marleys Hill (in association with Trees for Canterbury(external link))
Saturday 6 June 12.45pm to 3.15pm Bowenvale Reserve, Huntsbury (celebrate Arbor Day with rangers)
Saturday 13 June 12.45pm to 3.15pm Dry Bush
Saturday 20 June 12.45pm to 3.15pm Marleys Hill (in association with Trees for Canterbury(external link))

Spring maintenance

Date Time Location
Saturday 3 October 12.45pm to 3.15pm Marleys Hill
Saturday 10 October 12.45pm to 3.15pm Dry Bush
Saturday 17 October 12.45pm to 3.15pm Marleys Hill
Saturday 31 October 12.45pm to 3.15pm To be confirmed

Mahoe-nui Bush Restoration Project

Forest and Bird and Sumner Environment group are working with the Council rangers to restore native bush to this reserve behind Sumner. All working bees are at the lower Mahoe-nui site.

  • Saturday 21 March, 9.15am to 11.30am (postponement day 28 March)
  • Saturday 27 June, 9.15am to 11.30am (postponement day 4 July)
  • Saturday 25 July, 9.15am to 11.30am (postponement day 1 August)
  • Saturday 5 September, 9.15am to 11.30am (postponement day 12 September)
  • Saturday 7 November, 9.15am to 11.30am (postponement day 21 November)

Meet at 9am on the corner of Wakefield Ave and Colenso street in Sumner to carpool up to the site.

Please ring Helen Hills 02102326155 for more information or read more about the project. (external link)