Parks popular

by Anonymous Author

Selwyn District Council’s camping areas at Coes Ford and Chamberlains Ford are proving to be popular places after the July floods ravaged the areas.

During the floods, the Selwyn River burst its banks with a peak flow of 697 cumec, ripping through both campgrounds and damaging nearly everything in its path.

Selwyn District Council reserves officer Chris Burke said that “after the floods, we went in once the water subsided. We cleaned up – just for the area to be re-flooded another five times over the coming months.”

The council also brought in biodiversity experts to provide help, removing river debris from plants and staking up flattened shrubs.

“At Chamberlains Old Bridge Road entrance, we repaired broken fence lines and removed river debris, rebased and graded shingle driveways, as the current shingle drives had completely been washed away leaving only a soil base. 

“We cleaned out the toilet areas and tested all equipment, checked the stability of all of the trees and removed any that had been compromised,” Mr Burke said.

The NZ Army also pitched in at Chamberlains, by providing 100 personnel for four hours through one of its youth programmes. The volunteers restaked plants, removed river debris, hand-picked stones off the turf areas and put topsoil around the roots of eroded shrubs.

“At Chamberlains Bethels Road entrance, river shingle that had been washed into the area from the flood was removed, a large scour in the ground was filled in, the entire site was relevelled and the driveway was fixed,” Mr Burke adds.

“It was a massive effort. But it paid off in the end.”