When we raised funds in order to purchase the additional land at Project Rameka, we said to our generous supporters that we would protect that land.
18 months later, the Rameka Forest Restoration Charitable Trust has honoured that commitment by putting 91 ha of Project Rameka under a QEII National Trust Open Space Covenant.
A QEII Open Space Covenant protects the land in perpetuity and ensures its current, and future, owners manage the land in a way that protects its natural values.
Negotiating the covenant with the QEII National Trust involved recognising the uniqueness of Project Rameka being a carbon forest that provides riding, running and walking opportunities for the public.
So we and any future owners of the land are required to manage the land by:
protecting and enhancing the native flora and fauna
enhancing the land as a source of carbon dioxide sequestration
allowing non-motorised recreational activity.
Does this mean anything changes in how we currently manage the land? Not hugely, since so much of what we do is already aligned with the covenant’s purpose. But some things might take a little longer to achieve. For example, if we want to build any new tracks or plant exotic trees, we have to first work with the good folks at the QEII National Trust to decide how that would fit with the covenant aims.
But that is a small price to protect the land for good.
And so it has happened. After more than a year of sorting through building consents and engineering requirements, no more wet toes, ankles … thighs …
The bridge over the Rameka Creek to Great Expectations has been built!
The actual building only took nine days. But those were nine totally full-on days.
Many more people were involved than are shown in this selection of photos. And to everyone who helped out – many, many thanks and big thumbs up to all of you.
So, here’s a taste of the action that took place over the week:
First up was measuring out exactly where the bridge needed to go …
Then it was a case of digging ….
And pumping …
And digging – did we mention digging?
Measuring, sorting and sawing timber …
But there was still a bit of time to stand back and assess exactly what it was we were doing.
And then it was time for the concrete to be poured for the foundations.
Then first the piles and later the beams were lifted into place …
And after that, it was a case of all hands on deck as volunteers came flocking to help hammer, saw, measure, grease, measure, saw, and measure again, bolt, hammer, dig … all the usual things one does to put a bridge in place.
Just wrapped up a brilliant week at Project Rameka. Great people, and lots done.
After heavy rain we cut back all vegetation hanging over Great Expectations and The Odyssey, as well as digging out a lot of the ruts. The other change that people will notice is that we painted 10 new signs and installed them.
We then refurbished 12 stoat traps that DOC kindly donated, and built boxes for 10 new traps to go along the Rameka valley. The final job was to monitor and release the trees planted last August. The weeds and trees are growing like crazy this spring!
And finally, thanks to the magic of photosynthesis, the trees at Rameka sequestered 26 tonnes of carbon dioxide during the week we were there.