We are currently fundraising to build a 12-metre bridge across Rameka Creek at the bottom of Great Expectations. This will enable the track to be safely used all year round and will also provide an emergency escape route for local residents.
The total cost of the bridge is calculated at $15,600, and so far we have raised $8,100.
Before we can build the bridge we will need to raise another $7,500.
or by direct deposit to the Project Rameka Kiwibank account 03-9007-0752396-00 (Please include details to clarify who is paying and that it is a donation in order to make it easier for us to prepare a suitable receipt.)
If you have any ideas about ways to progress the bridge or anything else on the project, we’d love to hear from you. Email us any time at: email@example.com
In the first week of November 2015, Jonathan, Bronnie and Simon Johnson headed down to Rameka with this year’s American interns from the HECUA New Zealand programme – Olivia Thorp and Hardt Bergmann. The agenda was to:
release the trees planted in August
take part in the DOC Conservation Week trapping workshop
tidy up a couple of unrideable corners on The Odyssey
clean up Great Expectations.
And time was built in to show our US visitors the highlights of the Bay.
This was the first time Olivia and Hardt had been to New Zealand and probably the first time they’d spent any time taking care of a forest restoration project. We asked them to share their thoughts:
Hardt and I spent seven tiring but adventurous days in Rameka Carbon Forest with Jonathan Kennett, Bronwen Wall, and Simon Johnson. On Saturday, we packed ourselves along with a week’s worth of supplies, tools, and traps into Jonathan’s tiny Ford Mondeo and made our way up to the Lorax Lair at the top of the hill.
We quickly grew to love this place and its quirky features, especially the wood-fired bathtub on the edge of the hill. Built by locals who often visit the lair, it was a great way to unwind after a hard day’s work!
Our first full day out we participated in a trapping workshop run by DOC, along with many other locals from the Golden Bay area to discuss pest control, particularly of possums, rats, and stoats.
After the workshop, about 15 volunteers headed up to clear 150m of the severely overgrown original historic Rameka Track. This track was built in the 1890s as an access route between Takaka and Tasman Bay. Once the main road was built, the pack track was pretty much abandoned, sections fell into disrepair and over time disappeared beneath plant growth. We aimed to change that!
We spent the next several days setting up traps for possums in hopes of helping the native flora and fauna to flourish.
When we weren’t setting up traps, we were weeding around the native trees Bronnie, Jonathan, Simon, and others had planted the year before or working on the Odyssey and Great Expectations tracks, the two mountain bike tracks that run through Rameka. This work involved clearing overgrown trees and tidying up a particularly rough switchback to make it more rideable.
It was a week full of spectacular views, heaps of learning and hard but rewarding work.
The trip began with a good bout of POD building, largely thanks to some new minds in the mix. Bronnie was a creative force of the highest level. John milled all of the framing timber and the exterior battens. Martin bought up just about everything else, and then Andy arrived with a bunch of tools and everyone pitched in.
Andy talked (mostly to himself) non stop. Whereas once John was working he hardly said a word, conserving all energy for thinking. Martin and Bronnie tried to keep out of trouble. Jonathan skived off with Matt to formulate a planting plan for August. It was madness until dark. Thank God we don’t have electricity. Everyone just had to settle down around the fire and recap the day’s building.
Then in the weekend we had a seriously big work party, with lots of progress. In fact all of the remaining damage from Cyclone Ita was cleaned up. There must have been around 60 pine trees across the tracks, so this was and incredible feat. The power of volunteers!
The latest we’ve heard is that the ‘good old boys’ up there for a night of pig hunting, caught Mr Piggles on the road, boxed him up and took him to Takaka for a night on the town. They soon discovered that he was owned by part time bouncer ‘Lewy’ and quickly returned him. But he’ll escape again, mark my words. What are we going to do with you Mr Piggles?