Why should we protect our heritage?
- Ongoing survival of plants and animals (biodiversity).
- Cultural and community relationships.
- Less flooding (vegetation reduces water run-off).
- Soil protection (ten times more soil is lost from pasture than from forest).
- Scenery and landscapes.
- Recreation areas.
- Business opportunities (e.g. home-stays and eco-tours).
- Health (medicines).
- National identity (enhancing our clean, green image).
- Improved water quality (clearer streams and water catchments).
- Scientific knowledge.
- Preserving links with the past.
What can you do to protect our heritage?
- Protect areas from stock.
- Avoid clearing vegetation.
- Dispose of waste carefully.
- Replant natural areas.
- Get advice before doing earthworks.
- Respect existing heritage sites and use accordingly.
- Join organisations which protect heritage areas such as the Royal Forest and Bird Society or the Historic Places Trust.
- Contact the appropriate authorities about protecting a heritage place on your land.
- Identify areas to protect. These include native forest remnants and shrublands, coastal dunelands, native tussock grasslands, wetlands, lake margins and streambanks, geological features, areas supporting communities of native plants and animals, distinctive landscapes, landmarks and places with special historic value, areas of cultural importance to tangata whenua, or even scenic value, regenerating forest and shrublands, modified or degraded areas with the potential for restoration, including open space on the outskirts of towns and cities.
- Control pest animals on your own land.
- Control pest plants on your own land.
You can help the natural environment by retiring unprofitable areas to enable regeneration, by leaving or planting vegetation zones around streams, rivers, ponds and on steep hillsides, or by fencing off any areas of bush or wetland, no matter how small.
Land can also be bequeathed as a gift, or purchased through the Land Acquisition Fund to any of the organisations that protect heritage.