Otaki Historic Logging Site Needs Volunteers

1st February 2012

Volunteer Bob Schumacher & DOC ranger Keith Dyett at Sheridan Creek Workshop


1930`s Sawmilling site restoration

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is again seeking volunteers to restore the site of a 1930’s saw-milling operation tucked away in a hidden valley behind Otaki Forks.

Over the past decade volunteers from throughout New Zealand and overseas have been transforming the site at Sheridan Creek from an abandoned rusting heap to an impressive example of New Zealand’s logging history.  They have also learnt a variety of heritage conservation skills.


Workshop to be held

Another workshop is being held there from 5 to 9 March, to continue restoring the remnants of the milling operation, six km of bush tramway, and the most intact log hauler remaining on site in N.Z.

“The workshops are designed to both enhance the site, and transfer conservation restoration skills to the wider community,” says DOC historic technical adviser Richard Nester, who initiated the annual event and has co-ordinated it ever since.

The site was chosen for its accessibility and for its importance to New Zealand’s logging history. To date, two sections of bush railway have been restored, protective coatings have been applied to the old log hauler and timber mill boiler, and sections of previously unknown bush tramway sections have been discovered and surveyed.

 Work this year will include rebuilding the old turntable that was used to change the direction of the small tractor-like locomotive which hauled logs to the timber mill.  Tracks will also be cleared and rust removed from the steel saw-milling relics remaining along the track.

Anyone interested in participating can contact Richard Nester (04) 470 8438 at the Department of Conservation or rnester@doc.govt.nz  for more information.   –  Food and accommodation is provided for attendees.

And find out more on the DOC website: http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/volunteer-join-or-start-a-project/volunteer/volunteer-programme-by-region/wellington-kapiti/sheridan-creek/