Needs but no action
By Roger Childs
Back in May 2015 the Kapiti area suffered severe flooding and several houses had to be evacuated.
Less well known was the damage caused in Whareroa Farm.
Near the start of the Farm Road that runs inland from the Shelter, a stream began running across the road, and at the base of the hill where several tracks diverge to go up to Campbell’s Mill Road, the main stream had washed away much of the bank at the main crossing point.
Furthermore two bridges were swept away and have not been replaced.
Bridges down and out
One of these was a very well used 12m long link close to the Shelter.
This provided access to the Farm Road, and also up some flights of steps to the popular Coast View Track and Forest Loop Walk.
These trails can still be accessed, but by a longer route.
The other was a smaller bridge at the bottom of the Link (zigzag) Track which is popular with bikers, runners and walkers. Neither has been fixed.
Popular and ever changing
Whareroa Farm is a very popular setting for serious mountain bikers, trampers, runners and walkers, and people interested in the rich Marines heritage.
This history from 1942-43 is spelled out in the Shelter from which visitors can embark on a signage walk, to read about and view the places where young men from America lived and trained over 70 years ago.
There are plenty of other attractions in the farm such as information on trees and insects, and tables and other place to have picnics. There is also the ever evolving track development and planting ventures. Today there are as many as eight options if you wish to head up to Campbell’s Mill Road.
The Whareroa Guardians do most of this work and are one of the biggest and most active conservation groups on the Kapiti Coast. Their efforts in improving the Farm area do them huge credit.
Action needed from DoC
The Department of Conservation has overall responsibility for the area and they duly come to the party when new signs are needed. Their green and yellow signage is an attractive and familiar sight around the nation. They also Print Smart promotional flags occasionally to dot pathways and try to make it look as festive as possible. Tourists and passersby can easily make out whose handywork that’d be.
But what about the bridges?
It will be three years this coming May since the two were washed away. Replacements are long overdue and would not be huge undertakings.
Furthermore, a bridge over the main stream, which is the gateway to five of the tracks going to Campbell’s Mill Road, would be much appreciated by visitors and athletes. Currently it is a “wet feet” scene.
Funding is always an issue, however millions could be save from abandoning the wasteful and destructive spending on 1080 drops.
It’s time for some bridge building in the very popular Whareroa Farm.