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Biodiversity Grant

Applications open from 1 February 2024

Ashburton District is rich in biodiversity that forms our natural identity and local environment. Protecting this environment requires protecting the processes which ensure its continuing survival – an important function of biodiversity.

Council recognises the importance of biodiversity to the district and the shared responsibility it has with the community to ensure it is sustained and enhanced, both now and into the future. Council provides annual biodiversity grants through two contestable grant application processes held in February and August of each financial year.


The purpose of the Biodiversity Grant Scheme is to assist projects that aim to protect and/or enhance biodiversity in the district.


The maximum individual grant available is $7,500 and can be no more than 50% of the total project cost. The applicant’s share of the project’s costs includes volunteer time, donated/gifted goods and services and/or financial contributions.

All grants must comply with Council’s Community Grants and Funding Policy

Grant Eligibility

All Biodiversity projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Aim to protect, maintain and/or restore biodiversity.
  • Be within Ashburton District boundaries (between the Rangitata and Rakaia Rivers’).
  • Based in the Ashburton District & the event must take place between 30 June 2023 to1 July 2024.
  • Applications from a national organisation must be made from the local branch of that organisation.
  • Applications will only be accepted on the completed Biodiversity Application form.
  • Incomplete applications that do not provide all of the requested information will be excluded from funding assessment.
Ineligible Projects

The following projects are ineligible for Biodiversity Grant Funding:

  • Beautification / landscape / shelter belt planting;
  • Purchasing of capital items such as motorbikes, trailers, spray units, and tools;
  • Projects that generate profit or are for commercial gain;
  • Projects which are required by or are the responsibility of a government agency.
Funding Priority

The fund is contestable and each application will be assessed on its merits on a case by case basis. Council will prioritise applications that meet one or more of the following funding priorities:

  • Sites that have been the subject of an ecological assessment;
  • Sites that have ongoing and legally binding protection, such as a QEII open space covenant;
  • Projects with a purpose of habitat protection or restoration;
  • Projects which use eco-sourced plants.

Assessment Considerations
  • The degree to which the project will improve, protect, benefit, enhance, restore or reinstate indigenous biodiversity;
  • The biodiversity values of the area to which the project relates, including such things as representativeness, distinctiveness, rarity, and long term sustainability;
  • The degree of current risk or threat to the biodiversity values being restored, enhanced, protected or maintained as a result of the project;
  • Evidence of the applicant’s commitment to the project, particularly if it is a long term project;
  • The long term benefits of the project – for example, weed control may provide only short term benefits, while planting or fencing may have more long-term benefits;
  • The degree of on-going protection provided by the project – for example, for new planting, that it is protected from stock.

The final funding decisions are made at the discretion of Ashburton District Council. Successful applicants’ project details may be used for publicity purposes.


Successful applicants must complete and return a grant reporting form on the completion of the project, or by 31 July, or before applying for further funding, whichever comes first.

Receipts are required for all expenditure.

Organisations that do not complete their reporting will not be eligible for future Council grant funding.

If the funds have not been spent when the next funding round occurs and you would like to make another application, please complete the report form as much as possible, and let us know how and when you intend to spend the rest of the grant funds.

Biodiversity Grant Reporting Form

Required Documents