Trackie’s Newsletter No 2 (31/1/19)
The Botanical Track is now open and in very good condition. Some modification has been carried out to move the track further away from a group of large kauri and a large number of wooden steps have been installed. Maintenance and upgrading of the other tracks have been ongoing with a special focus on the Falls Track up to the first waterfall. Several changes have been made to reduce climbs and muddy sections have been gravelled. The tracks are getting very high use with many walkers arriving from Auckland where forests have been closed because of kauri dieback.
Lincoln Downes Farm
The Tracks Trust is lobbying KDC to designate the bush block of the waste water irrigation farm, Lincoln Downes, on Brown Road as recreation reserve. The farm includes 120 ha of largely native forest extending to the Brynderwyn ridge. Although unsuitable for farming stock have been wintered in the block in the past, and the extensive track network forms a fine basis for walking and mountain biking tracks. The area has the additional advantage of very few kauri trees with little risk of closure because of kauri dieback.
With the rapid growth of Mangawhai, and closing of many forests in the Auckland area due to kauri dieback, the Trust believes such a reserve would get high use and take pressure on existing recreation facilities. The Trust has provided a detailed development plan which gained support in principle from the Commissioners in 2013 but has failed to move the project forward despite strong support from a number of councilors. Gordon Hosking, chair of the Tracks Trust believes the loss of this area would be a tragedy for the wider community and its long term need for open spaces and recreation opportunities.
Following a mediation meeting with objectors to the proposed Back Bay to Pearson St. walkway it was agreed to await the report on the Banded Rail, due in March, before deciding our next move. The Trust is still determined to press ahead with this important section of the Round the Harbour walkway linking the Mangawhai Community Park with the village.
The 20thWalking Weekend is coming up on 28 – 31stMarch 2019. The Trust is of course heavily involved in ensuring walks are in good condition and in the organisation of the weekend. With new walks and a series of short walks on the Sunday the event will be a milestone for this annual event which involves such a large part of the Mangawhai community. We encourage all our followers to participate by joining a walk or assisting in its organisation mangawahaiwalking.co.nz.
We hope you are all looking forward to a great summer and a terrific Christmas break.