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Solution sought to stop wetlands damage

June 18th, 2013

The Keep Motueka Beautiful committee are pondering ways to stop youngsters from damaging the reeds and other plantings in the wetlands estuary while they use the area as a temporary mountainbike track.

The wetlands, which are on the coastal fringe of the Adopt-a-Plot area off Old Wharf Road, are being restored with marsh plants and cleared of gorse in a project being managed by KMB member Mike Tooker.

A team of volunteers working with Mike have just finished another planting season during which about 800 plants were introduced, adding to the thousands growing from recent years.

However a number of these are being flattened presumably by young teenagers riding their bikes through the marshes. Mike has not been able to ascertain who has been doing the damage, but they may be part of a group which recently were trying to create an impromptu mountainbike track through Thorps Bush.

At last night's KMB committee meeting various ideas were tossed about, including asking schools to urge students to respect the plantings, erecting some barriers to discourasge use, and placing notices in the area.

Some felt that trying to catch and chastise the young people was addressing the wrong end of the problem, pointing out that there were insufficient "official" mountainbike tracks in and around the town to which the riders could be pointed.

Others said that some of the adventurous riders may not even be aware of the delicate nature of the wetlands area and that the area is being restored.

It is hoped that if anyone sees these riders or knows who they are, they could speak to them and persuade them to move to a more appropriate location.


Comment by Marion Edwin:
[Posted 24 June 2013]

Maybe they need a lift out to the proper mountain-biking tracks out at Kaiteriteri? Perhaps issue a request to the local mountain-bike riders to have a 'bring your bike and have a go afternoon' where they help by transporting the town kids who are keen to do it, out to the real tracks.

How to make some more committed mountain-bikers and save the wetland plantings from being wrecked? And plan/build a local ride - Maybe both can be done in the same area, maybe not. Get the MB park folks to advise on how to build something fun in/near town...

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