6.1 Ecological corridors & sites

6 natural henrys bush6.1 ECOLOGICAL CORRIDORS & SITES

Ecological sites and corridors have been identified in Patumahoe by the use of contour maps of the village and the advice of a Low Impact Design planner from Auckland Council, Hayden Easton.

We ask that the Local Board supports us with any engagement with private landowners, Whakaupoko Landcare and other agencies that will protect and enhance these sites, and encourage public access.  We are encouraged by the current work underway by Whakaupoko Landcare on their Clive Howe reserve and Henry’s Bush link (see below), and believe this model can be duplicated to benefit all involved – including Auckland Council.

We believe that identifying these sites within our village will not only allow us to connect sites by a network of routes, but also by encouraging use, will increase the protection and enhancement of these places.

We also consider that the inclusion of these routes and sites in village planning and development will bring the surrounding rural environment into the built are of the village in a natural and pleasant manner.

Given the density of some of the developments, this provides residents with an opportunity to engage with the natural environment on a regular and consistent basis – and is a honest feature of a rural village.

 

Suggestions from participants:

We have identified ecological corridors and sites in and around the village – some of which are on private land:

  • Summit hill observation park and creation of summit walkway to be created alongside development of Patumahoe Hill – our submission already sent alongside subdivision application  – we ask that provision be made to include this in reserves allocation as this summit is the highest point in the village and provides a spectacular vantage point,
  • Extension of Searle stormwater reserve into old quarry and waterfall bush area,
  • Inclusion of Puriri Stand of bush alongside railway – 400 m from Patumahoe village – in a railway route between Patumahoe and Mauku,
  • Development of walkway through village that follows stream bed and will provide access to residents from Woodhouse Road to Patumahoe Primary School without having to travel along the road.

Whakaupoko Landcare is also currently working with Auckland Council, local landowners and Patumahoe Village Inc on a project that has been included in our submission to the Local Board Annual Draft Plan.

A copy of this proposal is shown below:

 

Clive Howe Reserve – Henry’s Bush track, wetlands and link accessway

Further to recent discussions with landowners on the southern boundary of Patumahoe Village and Patumahoe Village Inc agreement has been reached that in the long term (5- 10 years) the land zoning should change from Rural (which is the present zoning) to Rural Residential or Residential zoning

The reasons for considering this change are due to the following factors;

  • Patumahoe Village Inc has recently been active in looking at long term plans for the future direction of Patumahoe in the next 5- 20 years. One of the properties within this rezoning area is a chicken farming business. Concern from within the community is that if future growth is to occur in Patumahoe Village and its surrounding district, these types of farming operations should be in more rural areas,
  • Adjacent to the area targeted for rezoning is a public reserve. The local Whakaupoko Landcare Group with support from the Franklin District Board has been active in developing a walkway through this reserve which would link up with Hunters Bush. The walkway would be situated on the boundary of the rezoned area. Funding would be required for fencing, boardwalk, bridge over a stream in Hunters Bush and native tree plantings. The approx cost of this project would be $30,000.
  • Included in the rezoned area would be a small reserve which could become part of the walkway,
  • The land in question is owned by three lifestyle block property owners. All of the properties are in close proximity to the Patumahoe community so the land in the long term is unproductive for horticultural or agricultural commercial use.

Other considerations

  • Development of any routes that follow these ecological corridors and sites, should consider the overall design of a network that includes access routes and connections both within the village and beyond.  Many of these will be identified by the Transport considerations named above.

8 parks gully bushPlanning advice:

Use of QEII covenants and grants can be utilised to benefit the private landowner as well as the community, so both are served by a cooperative approach.  QEII grants allow identified native bush and wetland areas to be regenerated and include public access opportunities.

This approach is very relevant when discussing environmental areas that are close to residential neighbourhoods, as the opportunities for public access are more likely to be taken up.

 

CONCLUSIONS / ACTIONS

 

6.1.1 Clive Howe Bush Reserve – Henry’s Bush linkway

In our submission to the Local Board Annual Plan (August 2011) we supported the current Whakaupoko Landcare project: Clive Howe Reserve – Henry’s bush track because it results in multiple benefits to many in the community with one project – and also achieves many of the criteria for our transport, natural environment, community values and planning issues with one stroke.

It should also be noted, that many community responses have mentioned that they would prefer the existing chicken farm property to convert to residential – in order to reduce air quality issues.  The farm operates well within consent requirements, but for the improved quality of life for the local schoolchildren and residents we believe that the change of landuse would provide ongoing benefits for all for many years to come.

We ask that Auckland Council and the Local Board support this project for the same reasons.

6.1.2 Village Walkway/Cycleway network

Continue working with Whakaupoko Landcare, community groups and other agencies to identify ecological sites or corridors for inclusion in the final village plan and help to protect and enhance such locations.

 

Next page: 6.2 Regeneration & Pest/Weed control