Walking track surface concerns

A keen walker is concerned about the safety of people using the Quail Stream track in the Wither Hills Farm Park, near Blenheim.

Russell Cannan, of Blenheim, said he was grateful for the work the Marlborough District Council had done to upgrade some sections of the track.

"My concern is that areas further along the track are rutted, with many rocks sticking up from the surface," he said.

He walked the route daily and thought it was one of Marlborough's best assets, but said some parts were quite dangerous.

He said he had come across many people who had tripped while out walking or jogging.

"Just before Christmas I saw a gentlemen take a bad tumble, seriously grazing his arm," he said.

An ex nurse who was also on the track advised him to go to Wairau Hospital.

Mr Cannan said it would be unfortunate with the hundreds of walkers that used the park every week, for someone to get seriously injured if it could be prevented.

"Many people use the track that have no tramping experience - they are not prepared for such an uneven surface," he said.

Marlborough District Council reserves and amenities officer Robin Dunne said that upgrade work on the Quail Stream area and the Wither Hills Farm Park as a whole was an ongoing project.

"Work on the park is continuous as budget allows it, unfortunately everything does cost money," he said.

Last winter council had extra remedial work that had to be done in the park because of a high amount of rain in the region.

Large stepping stones were put across the Three Stream crossing and over-hanging vegetation was cut back or removed along the road, he said.

Work was under way to improve the road surface near the Three Stream crossing and should be completed by next week - weather permitting.

"The park is a fantastic resource to the region and we try to do a lot of work to keep it in good condition," he said.

More than 1 million people had used the track since monitoring began 20 years ago, Mr Dunne said.

This milestone was reached about six months ago, he said.

The actual numbers would be a lot higher as there were multiple access points and many mountainbikers and runners were never seen and consequently not counted by council staff.

Council has released an updated Wither Hills Farm Park map. It is available from council directly, the i-Site or can be downloaded from the council website.

The Marlborough Express