Lost leg not stopping joy of outdoors

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 16:16 04/09/2012

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A host of great activities are offered in National Conservation Week which kicks off on Sunday and runs until September 16.

An initiative of the Department of Conservation the week aims to educate New Zealanders about the many amazing natural attractions they have on their doorstep.

"Summer is just around the corner and people will start to plan trips, so we really want to teach them about what is out there and also, very importantly, how to care for it," said DOC South Marlborough community relations ranger, Shelly Sidley.

The theme of this year's conservation week is "love your parks" with a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the National Parks Act.

It is also the 125th anniversary of Te Heuheu Tukino IV gifting the Tongaririo, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe mountain peaks to the people of New Zealand.

Activities around the week will kick off in Marlborough with a restoration day at Rarangi tomorrow.

Teams of helpers from Tua Marina School, Outward Bound and the Rarangi Landcare Group will work with DOC rangers to plant native species of flora on the edge of the beach.

"We will be working to restore a corridor of plants along the beach. Rarangi is very special because it has species of plants and insects that are found nowhere else in the world," said Shelly. You can learn more about these very rare species and help to preserve them by lending a hand on the day.

She added that many different groups have become involved with conservation week such as the Marlborough Tramping Club, Forest and Bird and the Marlborough Convention Centre.

The Marlborough Tramping Club will be doing an open tramp on Wednesday, September 12. There is a $10 cost.

DOC will be taking part in the Holiday Expo at the Marlborough Convention Centre on Sunday where they will be highlighting the many natural attractions that the area has to offer. Entry is free and there will be a contest to win one of 12 great packages to experience Marlborough.

A free guided walk will be held at the Pelorus Bridge on Saturday, September 15 hosted by Forest & Bird. Volunteers from Forest & Bird run a very successful project to protect the endangered long-tailed bats.

The week will close with a talk by inspirational guest speaker William Pike at the Marlborough Convention Centre on Sunday, September 16. William lost a leg while climbing the Whakapapa glacier with a friend in 2007 but hasn't let his disability stop him enjoying the great outdoors to the fullest.

Entry will be a gold coin donation.

For information on the Marlborough Tramping Club tramp call Mary Jobberns on 03 572 8762 or Claire Hokianga 03 573 7272.

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Pelorus Bridge walk contact is Siobain Browning at DOC on 03 520 3002 or e-mail conservationweekmarl@doc.govt.nz.

CONSERVATION WEEK ACTIVITIES

- The Marlborough Express

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