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New cycle-walk planned for upper harbour


stage 1 walkway-126A new charitable body, the Mangawhai Recreational Charitable Trust, has been formed to construct a walkway and cycleway from Molesworth Drive to Cove Road within the esplanade strip of the upper harbor.

The Trust was formed to utilise the scruffy boundary on the Tara Creek Estuary from Molesworth Drive to Cove Road and turn it into another iconic walk and cycleway, providing a link from the increasingly developed hinterland to the urban areas.

Work is already underway.

Removal and mulching of scrub weeds including gorse, pampas, acacia, and bamboo, has exposed the spectacular pohutukawa fringe along the harbour and associated water views.

new cycle track-884The track will be constructed in stages, with the first 350m of the 3km length bordering farmland from Molesworth Drive progressing well.

A compacted all weather surface 2.5m wide is perfect for all ages and abilities to share.

The trail, to which the Council has given support, will follow an easy contour, curving its way between existing native vegetation along the harbour margin.

Section one will be completed to a usable standard before proceeding to stage 2.

Mangawhai is experiencing a rapid growth and with the increased pressure on recreational spots the track will provide another popular activity.

The Trust envisages future stages will incorporate an Art Trail and also include more water activities with a floating pontoon.

Mangawhai is in the thick of a cycling resurgence both nationally and locally and boasts the second largest cycle club in Northland.

To provide new, safe cycleways around the town so more people can ride to markets, shops, beaches and other hot spots must take some of the pressure off parking and roads – plus enhance the profile of the community activities.

“We have already seen how busy the walkway is from the Estuary Drive to Pearson Street along Molesworth Drive with runners, walkers, the school bike bus, prams and mobility scooters all sharing this tight unkempt track,” says Bike Mangawhai suprimo Sadie Parker.

“Mangawhai is an active community which makes the most of its recreation areas and the Trust believes this new walkway will become an iconic shared path, wide enough for prams and bikes to pass safely.”

Trust members Craig Jepson (chair), Colin Gallagher, Sadie Parker, Howard Jury, Noel McCarthy, Jeanette Reid, Gordon Hosking, and Mark Rowbotham, bring extensive experience and wide community networks to this family orientated project.

Financial and in-kind support has already been forthcoming from local organisations, contractors, and community members.

n The Trust is still seeking funding for completion and any additional donations of cash or material or assistance with machinery or manpower is very welcome. Please contact Craig Jepson on 431 5840 or 021 412 522.

UNDER WAY: An aerial view of the 350m Stage 1 breaking off from Molesworth Drive.

NATURE: Removal of scrub and weeds reveals superb harbour views to track users.

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