Park Status: Open
Early in 2021 the Trust purchased a new area of approximately 3.5 hectares of grazing land along Awahuri Road. It has been grazed for the last 80 years. Exotic willow and pine trees growing there have been felled to develop the plans to convert back to an ephemeral wetland area.
The paddock is upstream of the existing forest. This makes it ideal for development to help slow the flow of any water from substantial rain events, consequently giving some protection to the forest from high velocity flooding that causes so much damage.
We have engaged with an environmental engineering group to help us plan the most appropriate way forward.
During the floods in September, we discovered the existence of an old corduroy road on the site and we are currently exploring how best to handle this discovery so we can not only preserve it but allow it to be seen by visitors. The discovery of this artifact has caused the Trust to stop and now needs to rethink the future design and development of this wetland.
The wetland development is a project that will take some years to achieve. There are a number of phases we the Trust will have to go through to ensure we do restore this as closely as possible to the original wetland. Planning is the most crucial part of this project. The hydrology of the contributory streams, the Mangaone West and Makino, and the underground water tables need to be understood. The land has been contoured for grazing over the years. What are the original contours to re-establish? What trees and plant types were originally on the micro habitat sites across the land - what will re-establish best in bogs, dry areas semi bog areas etc? Where do tracks need to be put in? How do we preserve the corduroy Road built in the late 1870s? All these questions need to be answered before the plan can be approved for major work developments, permits applied for when needed and funds sourced to do the work.
Right now the exotic trees have been cut down these will be removed by creating local sources of firewood for the community, some sold, and some will create bio char for the land.
We will keep the website updated with progress.