First Walking Track At CUE Haven
One of our long term goals is to build a network of walking tracks throughout the property so that visitors to CUE Haven can explore the forest and find favourite places to relax and enjoy the peaceful environment.
Building the tracks was an interesting project. Layout of the track was initially planned by Rodney Straka, our consultant ecologist.
He marked the track and our team of Conservation Volunteers went to work to clear the area of any native trees by transplanting them to other areas.
Peter Hopkins of Helensville Diggers then came through with his digger and cleared the track down to the soil. Pete made some minor alterations to the initial layout to improve drainage and to minimise steep grades where possible, and then he spread the metal (gravel) on the tracks.
Our many thanks to Peter who postponed a couple of his other jobs so he could work on this project to get the tracks ready for the planned opening date.
We are also very grateful to Winstone Aggregates for supporting our walking tracks project and sponsoring the metal. They have shown considerable interest in our project and were very patient with us as we worked through the details.
A major challenge was building the boardwalk across the stream. During the dry summer months you can walk across the stream with only a risk of getting muddy boots. But in winter, when the stream is in full flow walking across is impossible. The builder originally scheduled to do the project became unavailable at the last minute and once again, Rodney Straka came to the rescue. Rodney took off his ecologist’s hat and put on his builder’s tool belt and designed the structure, acquired the materials and did all of the construction, assisted by David, one of the Conservation Volunteers, who helped with putting in the footers and Tom, who helped put down the surface boards. We even press-ganged our friend Don, who was visiting from the US. He helped out by pounding in a few nails.
We are exceedingly grateful to Rodney for taking time out from his consultancy work to assist us by building the boardwalk so that we would be ready for the big day.
The first walking tracks were formally opened as scheduled on 26th February by Peter Hopkins (Helensville Diggers). Rodney Straka (Scrub Consultants Ltd) & Lance Gosling (Winstone Aggregates Ltd).
Here is a map of CUE Haven. The new walking tracks are shown as a black dotted line:
The walking track starts by the nursery and runs along the very first plantings that we did at CUE Haven in 2008. It passes along the wetland area that we have partially planted out, as well as Duncan’s Grove. After a few twists and turns, it enters the wetland area with the boardwalk providing access over the main streambed. The track circles around a beautiful puriri tree and then branches into two separate tracks.
If you take the left turn, you will come back through the older planted areas and back into the other side of the wetland area where several memorial trees have been planted. Eventually, you reach the start of the main race.
If you take the right turn, you climb a short hill and then weave through some of the most recent plantings and alongside the mature vegetation in the stream gully. As you continue to climb up you reach the main race about halfway to the top of the property.
Here are our very first hikers on the walking tracks:
We look forward to having many visitors enjoy it over the years. Our next walking track project will include a footpath into the gully.
Once again a big THANK YOU to ….