Get a new walkway in your 'neck of the woods'

NZ Walking Access Commission chief executive Eric Pyle walks Daltons Track between Daltons Bridge and Pelorus Bridge. ...
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NZ Walking Access Commission chief executive Eric Pyle walks Daltons Track between Daltons Bridge and Pelorus Bridge. The commission helped fund this section of Te Araroa Trail.

Kiwi's love of the outdoors is being supported by cash as more funding for walkway access is up for grabs. 

Marlborough is rich with water vistas and bushscapes, and the Walking Access Commission is keen to support projects that will unlock new walks for the public at large.

Commission field advisor Penny Wardle, of Blenheim, says the aim is for "free, certain and enduring public access to the outdoors".

NZ Walking Access Commission regional field advisor Penny Wardle on Daltons Track.
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NZ Walking Access Commission regional field advisor Penny Wardle on Daltons Track.

"Creating or improving public access can bring a financial cost, and so we've developed the Enhanced Access Fund to help ensure money isn't a barrier," Wardle says.

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Since 2010, the Enhanced Access Fund has provided money for 91 different projects nationally.

"We'd love to get some more good access projects going in this neck of the woods," Wardle says.

Marlborough projects funded by the commission include the Grovetown Lagoon, with $10,000 for track construction, interpretive signage, a short boardwalk and viewing area finished in 2014.

Daltons Track, part of Te Araroa Trail along the Pelorus River, received almost $22,000. The 6.4-kilometre natural surface track between Daltons Bridge, west of Havelock, emerges close to the Pelorus camping ground and connects with Department of Conservation tracks.

This covered establishing a poled route, stiles and signs. Work was completed in 2011.

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The current funding priority is for the cost of securing access – for example, legal, resource consent or surveying costs. Other priorities include the provision of signage, installing gates, stiles or fencing, and administration costs.

Funding is available for all methods of public access, including walking, cycling and horseriding. Projects should be completed within two years, and funding cannot be awarded retrospectively.

Grants are awarded twice a year, and the next round closes on September 30. Any single project is limited to a maximum of $25,000.

"If the end of September is too soon to finalise your application, now is a great time to start on applications for the second funding round, which closes March 31, 2018," Wardle says. ​

"I can help with the application process, or discuss what you might be best placed to gain funding for."

 - The Marlborough Express

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