More than 30 volunteers turned out on Sunday to transform a once weed-infested stream bank in Kerikeri into native forest.
The newly planted area will extend the Wairoa Stream Track, which has become hugely popular since it opened in 2017.
As well as restoring public access to the Wairere Falls, known as the ''hidden waterfall'' because for decades it was difficult to reach, the other aim of the walkway project is to create a wildlife corridor reaching from Kerikeri Basin to Mt Pokaka.
The current phase of the project involves extending the track upstream from the Cobham Rd bridge. It will eventually link up with a paper road to Mill Lane, from where walkers will be able to take an existing footpath from General Gates Ave to Ranui Ave. Walkers will then be able to loop back into town via Kerikeri Rd.
The walkway is the brainchild of Vision Kerikeri founder Rod Brown, with much of the track building and weeding done by the volunteer group, Friends of Wairoa Stream.
This year, the volunteers have built another 100m of track along an unnamed tributary of the Wairoa Stream around the back of Placemakers.
The Friends also cleared an adjoining area of about 1000sq m which was heavily infested with jasmine, brush wattle and acmena (monkey apple).
That was the area targeted by more than 30 eager volunteers on Sunday, who planted 660 trees of 50 native species to ensure diversity in the resulting forest.
The trees, along with timber for track building and spray to tackle the jasmine, were funded by Matariki Tu Rākau. The Government scheme funds the creation of living memorials and is part of the One Billion Trees programme.