Whareroa Farm Milestone

DOC and Guardians sign historic plan for nature reserve saved from developers

By Alan and Helen Tristram

DOC and the Whareroa Guardians have signed a 10-year plan to manage the unique nature reserve which connects Queen Elizabeth Park and the Akatarawa Forest Park on the Kāpiti Coast.

DOC Kāpiti Wellington Area Manager, Rob Stone, and Whareroa Guardians Chair, Rachel Kiel-Taylor, did the actual signing before a group of dedicated volunteers.

The volunteers have worked hard for almost a decade to save the former Landcorp  Farm from subdivision —  and then carry out large-scale native plantings and improvements for public access.

The 450 ha Recreation Reserve connects Queen Elizabeth Park to the Akatarawa Forest Park and is proving a major attraction for walkers, trampers and mountain bikers.

It’s accessible to the public from SH 1 at Mackays Crossing.

The new plan has been written by Peter Handford and Associates on behalf of the Department of Conservation and the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust.

It sets out goals for management of the Farm by the DOC/Guardians partnership.

Since it was opened to the public in April  2011, Whareroa has seen high usage from a variety of recreational users, including walkers, cyclists, horse riders, runners, and picnickers.

The very-active group of Whareroa volunteers has planted over 30,000 plants along the stream sides since 2007 as part of an ongoing ecological restoration programme.