A tree-lined memorial avenue behind a chained gate has become Hastings' latest public park in a snip this week after a decision to give more access to the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds.

The "snip" was the opening of the showgrounds' Karamu Rd gates, allowing the public to picnic and relax beneath the overhang of the trees or around the Waikoko Gardens lake.

Hawke's Bay A & P Society general manager Brent Linn said the gates would be open from 8.30am to 5pm each day "while we're in residence" - being staff working hours.

"This is our way of formalising that public sense of ownership of the showgrounds, which although not council-owned are grounds with which everyone has a great sense of ownership," he said. "For some time we have been wanting to foster that sense of ownership."

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The gates have been usually only open as a public entrance for major events, such as the Hawke's Bay Show each October. Beyond the gates is an avenue lined with chestnut trees. Along with the London planes and beech, these are mainly thought to have been planted almost a century ago in memory of fallen soldiers who perished in World War I.