Manawatu Gorge open to foot traffic

Press Release – Horizons Regional Council

Despite the Gorge slip the Manawatu Gorge walk is open to foot traffic, so last week local government officials slipped into their walking shoes, and celebrated the successes of the Manawatu Gorge Biodiversity Project Group.14 December, 2011

Manawatu Gorge open to foot traffic

Despite the Gorge slip the Manawatu Gorge walk is open to foot traffic, so last week local government officials slipped into their walking shoes, and celebrated the successes of the Manawatu Gorge Biodiversity Project Group.

Representatives from Horizons Regional Council, Palmerston North City Council, Tararua Tourism, Tararua District Council, Destination Manawatu and the Domain Board heard from Department of Conservation (DOC) and Horizons staff about the progress and success of the Gorge project to date. They also discussed the impact the Gorge slip has had on biodiversity in the area, and the potential opportunities that have arisen around the site.

“The Manawatu Gorge Biodiversity Project is a 10 year plan to combine the enthusiasm and resources of the numerous organisations and communities associated with the Gorge area,” said Horizons Project Leader, Neil Mickleson.

“In some ways the Gorge slip has provided an opportunity for the project, as the access that has been created for contractors at the work site has meant we can develop a loop track at the Ashhurst end of the Gorge, which should be completed within the next 12 months.”

“We are also looking to set up a small picnic site at the worksite area which will have fabulous views of the Gorge and surrounding region. Plus once the work on the slip is completed we will revegetate the whole area.”

Led by DOC and Horizons, the project links all reserve areas, the river, road, rail line and some adjoining private land to be managed as one entity.

“The walking event last week was a fantastic chance to share the vision of flourishing biodiversity and to show the extensive options the Gorge has on offer for both passive and active recreation,” said DOC Programme Manager Community Relations, Margaret Metcalfe.

“We also talked about other potential developments for future multi-use tracks, including mountain bike tracks and pedestrian and bike clip-ons to the highway bridges at either end”.

The project team are always looking for volunteers to assist with planting and trapping projects. To find out more contact Horizons Regional Council on 0508 800800, or the Department of Conservation Palmerston North on 06 350 9700.

ENDS

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