Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Tree felling leaves park a 'wasteland' (+video)

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Rotorua's Linton Park Reserve has been described as a "no man's land" after 6ha of trees were cut down - now locals are asking when something will be done to clean up the mess.

In September Rotorua Lakes Council removed a stand of gum trees from the park and told the Rotorua Daily Post an area of more than 500sq m would be replanted with more appropriate native vegetation "during the next few weeks, with a longer term revegetation programme spread over several years".

But park users say nothing has been done and large piles of dead and rotting wood are spoiling what was once a beautiful park. The trees were removed due to safety concerns and since they were cut down at least two suspicious fires have been lit among the debris.

Park user Grant Moore said he had seen no replanting and the piles of dead trees were an eye-sore and could be dangerous for people, especially children.

"It's pretty disgusting," Mr Moore said.

"The rubbish from those trees is still there, nothing's been planted, they have shredded them and left them there. "It should have been taken away and dumped a long time ago," Mr Moore said.


Click here for the map of the council's planting plan for Linton Park.


"It was a beautiful walk, now it's a no-man's land, left in ruins."

Another local resident, who did not want to be named, said he wanted to know when something would be done with the "wasteland".

District councillor and sports and recreation portfolio leader Charles Sturt visited the park yesterday. Mr Sturt said council staff told him the piles of wood were to be used for mulch as part of the park's three-year revegetation programme.

"While it does look shocking at the moment let's hope that at the end of the three years it ends up nice and tidy and a place people want to visit.

"But it definitely needs a clean up and it's obvious that it's an area that needs to be upgraded and given a bit of love. "This would not happen in Otonga," Mr Sturt said.

Linton Park Community Centre manager Rick Mansell said the majority of the park had been neglected.

"But I can't think of any other park in Rotorua that's in that state . . . or a park surrounded by low decile homes like this one. "It could do with a clean up, nothing's been done there and it's been neglected."

The council's open spaces operations leader, Garry Page, said the park would eventually become a "natural, low maintenance environment" and would never be a "manicured" park.

"We have a revegetation plan . . . which includes planting 1000 trees in 2016 - 300 kahikatea, 300 redwoods, and the rest a variety of native species. "We're working on signage which will inform the public about the planting programme and what's proposed for the park."

He said planting would begin "soon".

- Rotorua Daily Post

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