Mt Somers Walkways Society has received a grant of $10,000 from the NZCT for new track construction.
Funding co-ordinator Jack Allan says, “Following rock falls on the original Sharplin Falls Track during and after the 2011 earthquakes, the Department of Conservation deemed it prudent for safety concerns to close the track. Following extensive consultation with DOC and eminent geologists, the Walkways Group has undertaken to build a new one themselves. In view of the fact that a number of walkers are now regularly climbing over the ‘Closed Track’ barrier it illustrates the track's popularity and that for a purely health and safety perspective it is essential that the track is reinstated.”
This grant will enable significant numbers of walkers that used the track previously as well as new visitors to the area to enjoy a short and accessible short walk
Funding co-ordinator Jack Allan
“The Mt Somers Walkways members do fantastic work in the area maintaining other DOC tracks and weed control in adjacent land. Despite this, they are prohibited from working physically on this project. This grant will enable significant numbers of walkers that used the track previously as well as new visitors to the area to enjoy a short and accessible short walk suitable for a wide range of people of all ages, abilities, and demographics for free. The track has also previously proved to be a great introduction for new walkers to other longer walks in the region.”
In 1983 Mt Somers and Staveley locals formed the Mt Somers Walkways Society, which led to the creation in 1987 of what is now known as the Mt Somers Track. The track was officially opened in 1987 when management was passed to DOC. Since then, a close association has been maintained between the two organisations. The Walkways members also maintain other tracks in the region, undertake significant weed control on the Mt Somers Conservation lands, and work countless voluntary hours in difficult terrain to provide for a convenient and safe walking experience for the public.