Our Big Backyard Ecosanctuary

Does the idea of sharing your backyard with more native wildlife excite you? By working together as one big “Backyard Ecosanctuary” and a Lindsay Creek team of 14,000 community members, this idea is now becoming a reality.

The Open VUE/City Sanctuary team channeling their desire for backyard action.
The Open VUE/City Sanctuary team channeling their desire for backyard action.

The “Backyard Ecosanctuaries” programme is an initiative by the Open Valley Urban Ecosanctuary (VUE) project to encourage positive outcomes for native wildlife in backyards and community spaces through actions based in citizen science and education. We have several focus areas for 2020, driven by passions grown within the community. Primarily, we are focusing on habitat enhancement through planting and weeding and mammalian predator management through trapping.

Backyard Ecosanctuaries
Backyard Ecosanctuaries

Keep a lookout in the coming months for some beautifully designed bespoke resources forthe Backyard Ecosanctuaries programme, designed virtually over the lockdown by a team of talented Otago Polytechnic students. Check out the logo - these will be available to BYES members as letterbox stickers which we hope will spread from letter box to letter box throughout the community demonstrating participation.

Whenever we receive letters to say we have received funding for projects associated with the Open VUE project, I dance a little boogie. Support from funders such as Lotteries Environment and Heritage, Dunedin’s Environment Strategy: Te Ao Tūroa, and ORC Ecofund are instrumental to the success of these programmes and we are incredibly grateful for their continued backing.

Collaboration is key to the success of many conservation projects and this is no exception. By also working with the Predator Free City Sanctuary project, we are able to provide traps, training and advice on backyard trapping.

There are several ways to be involved in the programme (see blow for the upcoming trapping workshops!) - take action in your backyard, come along to a workshop or join or in local working bees around the community.

Drop in and see us at the Valley project, send us an email (openvue@northeastvalley.org), or sign up via our online form https://bit.ly/openVUE.

Holiday Trap workshops

Saturday 18th July

Keen to help out the native flora and fauna in the valley by getting that pesky rat or possum out of your backyard? Come along to the Valley Project and join in a Trapbox building workshop if you’ve got a pesky rat or a Trapinator training workshop for the possums!

Please register for these workshops by 10th July to collect your pre-workshop chew card pack from the Valley Project. Register by calling by the Valley Project or registering with our online form bit.ly/trapworkshop. Set up the chew cards in your backyard for 5-7 days prior to coming along to the workshop(s). Bring your chewed cards to the workshop(s) to find out what you have got in your backyard!

Elsie and Bella Anderson making their trapbox.
Elsie and Bella Anderson making their trapbox.

Saturday 18th July at Valley Project Community Rooms, 262 North Road

10 am - 12 pm: Rat Trapbox building workshop

12:30 pm - 2 pm: Possum Trapinator training workshop

Trapbox building and T-Rex rat trap workshop:

Drop in between 10 am and 12 pm to assemble your box and learn how to use a T-Rex rat trap. Great if you can bring a hammer but we will have some spare. Please also bring your own container for the trap bait if you would like to take some away with you.

Note: This Trapbox Building workshop is only for Opoho, Liberton, Dalmore, North East Valley and Normanby residents, and urban properties in Pine Hill.

Trapbox kitset, plus one T-Rex rat trap and peanut butter bait: $10 to keep or $8 with a Community Service Card. Thank you to Bay Road for donating peanut butter seconds for bait!

Trapinator Possum trap training workshop:

Come along at 12:30 pm to meet the City Sanctuary team who will show you how to install, bait, set and reset a trapinator trap to control possums. We will begin at 12:30pm with a demonstration followed by time for questions and trap registration.

Trapinator trap, plus a non-toxic paste bait (Ferrafeed 213): suggested koha of $20 for the workshop, hiring of the traps is free.

Trapboxes and Trapinator traps are safe to use in your backyard and the best way to ensure rats and possums are caught in the most humane way.