A 10km long green corridor along SH60 between Tasman Village and Mapua, the so-called "Te Mamaku Drive", formerly the Ruby Bypass; that's the ambitious project of some local Tasman folk.
The project comes with access for the non-motorised public like walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. A stretch of unused, mostly public land on the eastern side of SH60 is visibly overgrown with gorse, broom, wattles and wilding pine trees. It already accommodates part of the"Dicker Ridge Walking Track" and continues on Stagecoach Road down to Chaytor Road and the Mapua's Dominion Flats.
The "Te Mamaku Drive Corridor Project", a sub-committee of TACA (Tasman Area Community Association), wants to connect the Waimea Estuary and Moutere Inlet with mainly native bush and trees. This would beautify the area alongside the Coastal Highway (SH60), as has recently happened with many highways in other parts of the country, reduce the fire risk and provide a corridor for birds and insects to move between the estuaries and nearby wetlands.
A plan has been drawn up for the whole length of the corridor, with identified priority blocks to start with and to seek appropriate funding. This is a long term project to run over years, if not several decades!
What started in early 2022 with this simple idea has led to the first planting in winter 2022 of 1,800 trees done on 500 metres at the start of the project at the Tasman end. Thanks to the great support and funding of TET (Tasman Environmental Trust) and Restoring the Moutere through the Billion trees programme, people were able to envisage the direction in which the project is heading.
The winter planting season 2023 has seen the planting of a massive 12,000+ plants on Blocks 1 & 2. 140+ big wilding pine trees had been felled, about 3 hectares of land been mulched and sprayed in October 2022 to prepare the site for this planting. While most of the planting itself had been done by contractors, 750+ volunteer hours went into putting plant guards on in several working bees with our group of dedicated volunteers.
You may like to take a look at our drone flyover of the whole of Blocks 1 & 2, showing all of the wonderful work completed by our planters and volunteers:
Read our full project document here.
This years planting was made possible thanks to the great support of our funders, Rata Foundation, Lottery Environment and Heritage Fun, Restoring the Moutere, Pub Charity, NBS Nelson Building Society, NZMCA (New Zealand Motorhome and Caravan Association), Trees that Count, Landcare Trust & One Tree, Network Tasman, TDC and individual donors.
We were thrilled also to announce in May 2023 that our project has been selected as the chosen Nelson/Tasman project for the He Rā Rākau Tītapu – King Charles III Coronation Plantings, the New Zealand Government's official gift to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. Our share of 7,000 trees from the He Rā Rākau Tītapu Fund will mean 1,200 trees had been planted in Block 2 this July and 5,800 trees in 2024 in Block 3 and Block 5.
At the moment we are applying for funds to secure the planting season of 2024 for Block 3 and Block 5. Clearing and preparing these blocks will start in October/November 2023.
Anybody interested in being involved in this project can contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have further working bees to apply fertiliser and some hand weeding in the spring of 2023 and planting working bees next planting season in 2024.
So please chip in your name to be included in our regular update emails about progress and upcoming working bees.
You may also wish to join our dedicated Te Mamaku project Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/282444301037489
You can also make a kind donation to our Givealittle page.