Farm­ing mo-oves to the city

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CATRIN OWEN

‘‘Vis­i­tors to the park will be able to en­gage with the day-to-day farm­ing op­er­a­tions’’

Over­seas vis­i­tors flock to see New Zealand farm­ing in ac­tion, and soon they won’t have to travel too far from Auck­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

An area of Corn­wall Park, which sur­rounds One Tree Hill, is un­der­go­ing a makeover with more than one hectare set to be re­turned to pub­lic use with Auck­land Coun­cil or­gan­i­sa­tion Water­care re­mov­ing a de­com­mis­sioned wa­ter reser­voir.

Corn­wall Park di­rec­tor Michael Ayr­ton said the longterm plan for the land was to turn the area into a farm cen­tre.

‘‘Vis­i­tors to the park will be able to en­gage with the day-to-day farm­ing op­er­a­tions we carry out like sheep shear­ing,’’ he said.

Ayr­ton said in the short-term the site would be used as a place for people to en­joy and for sheep and cat­tle to graze.

Corn­wall Park is 45 hectares and has about 700 sheep and 120 cat­tle graze its pas­ture.

Cur­rently sheep are shorn twice a year at the park’s wool­shed, which mem­bers of the pub­lic are able to pop in to view from a dis­tance.

Corn­wall Park did not con­firm whether mem­bers of the pub­lic would be able to take part in sheep-shear­ing or other ac­tiv­i­ties as part of the plans for the farm cen­tre.

Auck­land Tourism Events and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment spokesman Steve Ar­mitage said a farm cen­tre in Corn­wall Park would add to a di­verse range of at­trac­tions al­ready on of­fer in Auck­land.

‘‘The cen­tre would al­low vis­i­tors who might not have the op­por­tu­nity to get out into the coun­try­side and lo­cals to en­joy a ru­ral ex­pe­ri­ence in the city, com­pli­ment­ing ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties like Am­bury Farm Park.’’

Water­care’s reser­voir was built in the 1940s to han­dle some of Auck­land’s wa­ters sup­ply, but had not been in use fol­low­ing the com­mis­sion­ing of the Ard­more Wa­ter Treat­ment and Camp­bell Road Reser­voir in the 1970s.

Water­care in­her­ited the dis­used reser­voir when the com­pany was formed in the early 1990s.

Water­care chief ex­ec­u­tive Raveen Jadu­ram said it made sense to pull the struc­ture down. De­mo­li­tion of the reser­voir was ex­pected to fin­ish in early June.

Last year Auck­land’s Maunga Author­ity in­di­cated it was plan­ning to re­move live­stock from Auck­land’s vol­canic sum­mits, in­clud­ing One Tree Hill, to pro­tect and re­store bio­di­ver­sity.

BEVAN READ/FAIR­FAX NZ

Vis­i­tors and city-dwellers will soon be able to ex­pe­ri­ence farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Corn­wall Park.

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