New walking track a step closer

A Taranaki wetland area is being restored in the hope of becoming an attraction for locals and a place to learn about biodiversity.

Wild for Taranaki, also known as the Taranaki Biodiversity Trust, is restoring an area close to Eltham and building tracks to be known as the Rawhitiroa Wetland Walk.

The tracks will be open to the public to share the value that wetlands provide to the Taranaki region, and when complete the Rawhitiroa Wetland Walk will be a kilometre long. 

Wild for Taranaki’s General Manager Kirsten Foley says the wetlands around Taranaki are incredibly rare and diverse. 

“We want to rebuild a place where local Taranaki people see the native plants and animals that thrive in our province, unthreatened by invasive species,” she said.

“Families will be able to learn about mātātā fernbirds and long-finned tuna that live among the raupō.” 

Foley says she hopes the wetland walk will eventually link up with the existing Rotokare Sanctuary.

This month the project was given a $7600 boost in funding to build interpretation and education signs along the planned walk.

The funding came from teh Walking Access Commission and along the walk the signs will share information on mudfish, wetlands, restored communities, and collaboration. 

The Walking Access Commission’s local Regional Field Advisor Kevin Ross said the new signs would improve walkers’ experience of the wetland walk.

“This will be a short, easy walk that people of all ages can use to learn about the nature and history of their area.”

Wild for Taranaki’s Rawhitiroa Wetland Project is supported by the South Taranaki District Council (which owns the land) as well as Taranaki Regional Council and the Eltham Community Board.