Beautiful walk a testament to volunteers

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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DIGGERS: Karituwhenua Stream Reserve volunteer workers are Ray Feltoe (left), John Benson, Dougal French, Keith Rose and Tony Davies. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR
DIGGERS: Karituwhenua Stream Reserve volunteer workers are Ray Feltoe (left), John Benson, Dougal French, Keith Rose and Tony Davies. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR

A tangle of weeds and rubbish has been transformed into Havelock North's best walk thanks to community goodwill.

The Karituwhenua Stream Reserve began in 1992 as an erosion-control measure and became a walkway in 1996 thanks to hard graft by neighbours.

Regular plantings and assistance from Hastings District Council to remove ageing trees and replace planks with bridges have seen the 1km track from Te Mata Rd become a botanist's delight as it meanders along the stream, usually dry in summer, ending at an historic well near the back of Black Barn Vineyards.

Entrances to the walkway can be found at 180 Te Mata Rd, Kingsgate Ave, Reeve Drive and Fulford Place.

Neighbouring volunteers have formed the country's first recognised Landcare Group, and to celebrate its 20-year anniversary they are holding a special barbecue on Sunday, January 24.

"We do have a barbecue each year and invite all locals to come and join with us, but this year will be different," reserve convenor Dougal French said.

Mr French, a former principal of Havelock North High School, said more than 100 people were expected to attend the barbecue, including Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and councillors.

Activities will commence at 4pm with a conducted walk through the reserve by Mr French.

He said reserve birdlife was now abundant with tuis, bellbirds, fantails, wood pigeons and moreporks. "It's a true testament to the volunteers who carry out plantings, maintenance and improvements during the week and particularly on Friday mornings," he said.

"It's a great time for the 'Last of the Summer Wine' to get together, have a good sociable work experience and do something for the community."

He is resigning his role as convenor at the Landcare Group AGM next month, but hopes to continue as a committee member.

"I am sure it will continue, so long as the local people continue to rally around it as they have done for 20 years."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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