Alison Evans started work as a Christchurch City Council park ranger one year ago. We asked her a few questions about her life on the job.
Alison how did you end up working as a Regional Parks Team Leader for Port Hills and Banks Peninsula?
I’ve got quite a broad background in conservation, including forestry, marine biology and biosecurity so coming here as a team leader seemed a natural progression. I was looking for a position that would be varied and reactive and I knew the team was motivated and knowledgeable.
Tell me what you love about your job
The variation! Every day is different and I get to go to lots of interesting places. One day I could be out checking on birds the next I could be doing restoration planting or trapping predators.
One of the big issues at the moment is feral deer and pigs. There aren’t many rules or regulations to control the populations which makes it a difficult issue to resolve so that’s something we’re working on.
What’s a typical day like?
I start at 7.30am and catch up with my team, check in with the newer members and make sure they’ve got a work programme sorted out. Then there might be planning, budgets or health and safety to work on in the office.
In the afternoon I might meet with contractors or volunteer groups, look at predator control or plant pest issues and check back in with the team at the end of the day!
What’s something people might now know about the area you work in?
We cover a really large geographic expanse which involves lots of driving and liaising with other groups, individuals and organisations to try and maximise our effectiveness.
Regular monitoring of penguin and morepork populations on Banks Peninsula is something we’ve been doing for some time now.
Little blue penguins have populations all over the peninsula and we also monitor a small population of yellow eyed penguins.
They’re mainly in the outer eastern bays but there’s very few of them.
Do you have any advice for the public using the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula over the summer?
Enjoy being in nature, immerse yourself in it and have a great experience in our wonderful reserves.
There are lots of them on Port Hills and Banks Peninsula - we’ve recently been working in Misty Peaks Reserve which is a beautiful spot with great views on a fine day.
I’d definitely encourage people to get off the beaten track and explore some of these less visited areas.