Access to the lower track from Old North Road through to the bridge in Eave’s Bush in Orewa will be opened next month following kauri dieback preventative work that has been taking place there since January.
Two new hygiene stations where visitors can scrub and spray their shoes are also being installed to protect kauri and an additional station will be added to the reserve later this year.
Full access to the walking tracks is expected to be reinstated, including to the upper track, late this year following further track upgrade works and the installation of the final station.
There are various types of hygiene stations in use nationally, ranging from brushes and spray bottles in a bucket to the more sophisticated model fitted with a pressure-activated foot sprayer that is now being installed in Eave’s Bush.
The new stations make it simple for walkers to scrub and spray their shoes with features like a rail to lean on, a seat to sit on, plenty of room for kids and extra spray guns for removing mud that might not come off shoes (or paws) first go.
Scrubbing shoes is important because the pathogen, Phytophthora agathidicida, that causes kauri dieback lives in soil. It is believed to first infect kauri feeder roots, with the subsequent spread to the tree’s main roots and then lower trunk, before the whole tree succumbs to the disease.
Funding for the new hygiene stations comes from the council’s Natural Environment Targeted Rate, with $445,000 put aside for installations across the Auckland region in the current financial year. This includes stations installed in regional and local parks and at various wharves.
Meanwhile, the bridge that provides access to Eave’s Bush from the Kensington Park subdivision was closed by Auckland Council last November due to structural issues and will remain closed for at least a year.
The estimated cost of the entire kauri dieback project in Eave’s Bush is $391,205 (HM October 2, 2019). This work has also been funded by the Natural Environment Targeted Rate.