Skip main navigation

Brook Sanctuary

* Watch this video on the Brook Sanctuary.
* Read through the questions below.
* Watch it again.
* While you watch take notes.
* Then do the quiz.
I joined the sanctuary as a volunteer way back in 2006. At that time, there was no fence or pest control. And we volunteers were struck by lack of birdlife, the damaged subcanopy, and the relentless sound of goat cries in the bush.
We’re the biggest pest-proof sanctuary on the South Island. We have just over 14 kilometres of pest-proof fence, and we’re just about to start reintroducing native species into the Brook Valley.
I’m really lucky in my role as environmental educator to have spent a lot of time with kids here in the Brook Sanctuary, and seen what a fantastic learning environment lessons for those children. Much better than seeing it out of a book or off the internet. They actually get the value of these plants.
I’ve been volunteering in the sanctuary right from the get-go. And in that time, thousands of thousands of hours have gone into making this into such a beautiful spot that it is today. This is a huge project. It’s really ambitious and high tech. And so it’ll always require a fairly massive volunteer input, and significant ongoing financial generosity from the community.
These children are going to become the conservationists of the future, and that’s why it’s so very important to have the sanctuary here close to Nelson. All of this would have been just impossible without the support and funding from legacies, donations, and memberships. And it really feels fantastic to be part of such a wonderful, supportive local community. Not everybody can come up here and volunteer. But you can contribute and help fund the sanctuary, and bring back the birds that were once here.
It’s really important that the sanctuary continues to receive this backing. Just because we’re pest free now, that isn’t the end of the story, and it isn’t the end of what we want to achieve here. It’s much bigger than that and, really, we’re just at the beginning of the best bit of the story.


  1. The video covers five topics. What are they?

  2. In 2006 what was part of the forest was damaged?

  3. What could volunteers hear in the hills in 2006?

  4. How many kilometres of predator-proof fence are there around the sanctuary?

  5. In 2006 there was no predator-proof fence. True or False?

  6. Who says, “We’re the biggest pest-free sanctuary in the South Island”?

  7. Why does the environmental educator think the Brook Sanctuary is fantastic?

  8. What does Kat Willcocks say has made the sanctuary possible?

  9. If people can’t be volunteers what can they do to help?

This article is from the free online

EAL: English Language for Nature Conservation and Sustainability

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education