Te Mata Park announces native plant plans
Posted By QEII | January 21, 2020
Te Mata Park is an iconic QEII covenant in Hawke’s Bay and home to the famous Te Mata Peak which stands at 399 meters above sea level. It lies on the edge of dramatic uplifted limestone hill country, cut through by the Tukituki River. From the summit, with its spectacular views, a series of scarps, spurs and valleys drop away. There are massive rock cliffs and outcrops, studded with fossils of marine shells. Native vegetation clings to the cliffs and several of the plants on these cliffs are unique to Te Mata Park, and as a result are some of the rarest in New Zealand. Bush remnants and wetlands remain nestled in the valleys. Te Mata Park was protected by a QEII covenant in 1996 to ensure the permanent protection of this glorious landscape.
The Te Mata Park Trust has announced that it plans to remove almost 12 hectares of old pine plantations across two blocks. The removed pines will be replaced with close to 60,000 native plants over the next three years. This will improve the biodiversity of the park and create a welcoming habitat for native bird life.
Te Mata Park Trust Board Chairman Mike Devonshire noted that removing these pine trees is now “crucial” with increasing numbers of fallen trees creating hazards to the public as well as vulnerable branches on the cusp of falling. The removal of these pines and introduction of more native plants will ensure that Te Mata Park continues its amazing legacy and will have great long-term benefits for future generations to enjoy.
With preparations now complete, forestry work is due to take place in early 2020. This will affect public access to the park, including a closure of Chambers Walk and the Tauroa Road car park from mid-February for approximately 6-8 weeks. More information about the closures, including a map outlining the areas, can be found on the Te Mata Park website.