Tracks Trust hoping for Lincoln Downs Farm bush block as recreation reserve
The Mangawhai Tracks Charitable Trust is lobbying Kaipara District Council to designate the bush block of the waste water irrigation farm, Lincoln Downs, on Brown Road, as recreation reserve.
The farm includes 120 hectares of Council-owned largely native forest extending to the Brynderwyn Ridge and forms part of the farm that was purchased as the wastewater disposal site for the Mangawhai EcoCare waste water project.
Although unsuitable for farming, stock have been wintered in the block in the past. The extensive track network is ideally suited to form a basis for development of walking and mountain biking tracks.
The area has the additional advantage of very few kauri trees with little risk of closure because of kauri dieback. With the rapid growth of Mangawhai, and closing of many forests in the Auckland area due to kauri dieback, the Trust believes such a reserve would get high use with associated economic benefits, and take pressure off existing recreation facilities.
The Trust is keen to proceed with helping to develop the block as a community recreation reserve, and presented a detailed development plan to Council in 2014 and again in 2017. So far permission has not been gained to proceed with the project despite strong support from a number of councillors.
Trust chair Gordon Hosking believes the loss of the area would be a tragedy for the wider community and its long-term need for open spaces and recreation opportunities.
Otamatea Ward Councillor Jonathan Larsen has also gone in to bat on behalf of the Tracks Trust.
“I have raised the proposal again with the new Council CEO with the hope of getting some action on this project soon,” he says. “Mountain bike parks in other areas have been proven to provide significant economic benefits by attracting users to the area. This is a unique opportunity because Council already owns the land and there is a proven and established volunteer group ready and willing to add value.”
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The extensive track network is ideally suited for development of walking and mountain biking tracks.
The red outline shows a rough boundary of the Lincoln Downs Farm bush block.