News and Events

Litter Intelligence Education Programme Engagement Day Event for Educators

Inviting teachers - If you would like to learn more about the Litter Intelligence Education Programme and how your school and learners can get involved, please join us at the Southland Community Nursery on Wednesday the 12th August 2020 from 9am to 3pm to learn more about this programme and how you, your School and students can can get involved. This event is free of charge and lunch is included. Spaces are limited so please register via the event page on the Sustainable Coastlines website.

Litter is a major risk to people, culture, environment and economy, especially when it enters the marine environment. This is a problem we can – and will – solve. Led by charity Sustainable Coastlines, the Litter Intelligence programme collects data, provides insights and inspires action for a litter-free Aotearoa. Launched in May 2018, the programme is funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund and works in close collaboration with Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Conservation. As New Zealand’s first national litter database, Litter Intelligence is helping build a better understanding of the problem.

To collect and input this litter data long-term, Sustainable Coastlines is engaging with communities around Aotearoa, providing the training, equipment and technology required for people to take part in the programme as ‘Citizen Scientists’. By working to a United Nations Environment Program / Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission methodology, data is collected at the highest standard of scientific rigour, allowing it to be used for national, regional and international reporting, including the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.

To achieve this, Sustainable Coastlines are training and supporting educators around Aotearoa to deliver an exciting new and innovative litter reduction education programme called the Litter Intelligence Education programme or LIEP for short. By combining evaluation of our education programme with on-the-ground litter data, we will measure the effectiveness of education and a range of other litter-reduction interventions, giving us a strong understanding of the best solutions.

All programme findings are freely, openly and publicly available through our purpose-built Litter Intelligence digital platform, giving politicians and business leaders, educators and students, scientists and researchers the right information to take action for a litter-free world.

Forest Gardens, Kombucha and Setting up A Community Nursery

On 3 July 2020, Geoff lead a “Forest Gardens” workshop where we stared in the apple orchard and worked our way back past the fruit bushes and nut trees discussing the merits of different systems. From apple pruning or not, shade tolerant vegetables, perennial vegetables and fruit bushes. Back at the Nature Centre Eleanor gave information about making kombucha – she brought along a live “scoby” and some delicious kombucha drinks for us to try. See the Kombucha information sheet.

On Friday 10 July Chris lead a session on setting up a Community Nursery – with people from Lumsden, Bluff, Pahia, Invercargill and Otatara. Over the years the Southland Community Nursery (SCN) has welcomed the chance to pass on the knowledge of growing native plants and quite a number of local community nurseries have been set up to serve the projects in their local communities. Passing on knowledge is a way of ensuring the SCN project keeps going strongly into the future. We started in the Nature Centre where Chris explained the “first get to know your local native plants” – with references to – “SCN Plant ID resources”, “Ecosourcing”, “Using reference sites”. Then outside to the “structures” part – linking the essential structures (standing areas, water, plant frames, potting shed) with the nice to have – e.g shadehouse, raised beds. We didn’t have the luxury of building everything at once so had to prioritise and build as resources allowed. A trip to the pond to look at plant tolerances to water table completed the morning. It was great to share knowledge and hopefully see more Community Nurseries springing up as a result.


Community Nursery Workshops and Break-up Friday

Over the past few weeks we have had quite a few smaller events held at the Nursery. Three cuttings workshops were well attended, with Linda leading the process of creating new native plants from cuttings – in case you have forgotten a few key steps – check out We had a small Matariki event – the highlight of which was Pens carved kumikumi – see photo. We also had the CEO of Predator2050 with Ini Southland Coordinator in the Nature Centre talk to community groups involved with pest control.

Winter get-together/Break-up

On Friday 26 June 2020 we had a great re-union with around 30 people attending – the first open Friday since lockdown, with shared food and stories! Everyone enjoyed getting together again, no work was done but lots of networking and shared food was followed by a “Vegetable Gardening in Southland” session lead by Bronwyn. A large group of beginners and more experienced gardeners shared their knowledge and veggie growing tips and then retreated into the nature centre to look over the resources that had been created.

There are two more workshops to come – “Forest Gardens” with Geoff Friday 3 July 2020 and “Setting up a Community Nursery” with Chris on Friday 10 July 2020.

We will then have a 2 month break over winter and come back raring to go in Spring in September.


Litter Intelligence Programme

On June 23 we had a frosty start and chilly survey at Greenpoint domain (between Invercargill and Bluff) with Ben Joshua Knight and SIT student Annichje. Rope and broken glass found (similar to last survey). Undertook the audit in some sunshine at the Southland Community Nursery, Otatara before looking at some future possible sites around Sandy Point. A great opportunity to connect the Litter Intelligence Programme community in Southland. Find out more at


National Volunteer Week 2020

I’d like to put a shout out to all the wonderful volunteers who keep the world going! For the Community Nursery, they are the reason we have been going strong for over 20 years. The photos dont show a lot of work being done but not surprisingly lots does get done, including producing around 10,000 native plants a year, providing workshops, accommodating lots of school groups and many other things.

On Friday 26th June 2020, we will celebrate volunteers at the nursery 10am-noon, with food, stories and sharing tips and tricks of vegetable gardening in Southland.

I had a bit of fun finding the photos attached and they bring back great memories of volunteers past and present and some memorable times at the Nursery. May they continue!! Hope to see you at our Friday event and if you haven’t been for a while then come along and share the fun.