Our conservation and environmental goals
Driftwood Eco-Tours was born out of a desire to share our wonderful environment. Our tours highlight in particular the ecological importance of the Wairau Lagoon. New Zealand’s wetlands have been decreased by 99% since the arrival of Europeans. We support the protection and restoration of existing wetlands. We promote New Zealand conservation by creating awareness through our tours and Will's photos.
Key conservation achievements and polices:
• We own and manage a conservation wetland under the ‘QEII (Queen Elizabeth II) Trust’.
A Trust for private land owners in New Zealand who wish to protect special natural sites on their properties in perpetuity.
• We plant one tree for every tour taken to offset our carbon footprint on our property. Many of our trees are ‘eco sourced’ from the same area as they will be planted, others are purchased from a local nursery. Plants are chosen which are native to the area.
• We have a predator control program for our property, primarily controlling mustelids and rats. These pests have a negative impact on our bird population. Especially ground nesting birds like fern bird and marsh crake.
• We support community education. This we have achieved by holding guided tours of our wetland for families, with all proceeds being used to promote local conservation.
• We have developed the face book page FLOW (Friends of the Lower Opawa and Wairau). This is a public page which acts as a discussion forum. It is also an opportunity to show people Will’s beautiful wildlife photos of the area, in particular the birds.
• We have made annual plan submissions to the local Council to raise awareness of the importance of the wetlands of the lower Wairau. The Council have created a new reserve and made the waste water wetlands accessible to the public by way of a walking track. On the walkway, interpretation boards have been erected which give information about the wildlife of the area.
• Will speaks to several community groups each year about the wildlife of our wetland and the Wairau Lagoon using his photographs.
• We recycle as much as possible and use cleaning products and toiletries which are kinder to nature.
• Part of our environmental policy is to give back financially to the communities in which our tours operate, these funds are used at the community’s discretion.