Gemma Franklin, an Environment Canterbury field ranger, makes the most of The Willows

The Willows opening on Saturday

by Mike Isle

The eagerly anticipated opening of The Willows in West Melton will take place this Saturday.

The park has been developed by Environment Canterbury and Selwyn District Council for non-motorised recreational activities.

Environment Canterbury park rangers will be at the opening to show people around the park and Selwyn mayor Sam Broughton will be in attendance.

James Page, team leader parks and forests for Environment Canterbury, said this was an exciting development for the region.

“Cantabrians and visitors to the Selwyn area can make the most of this park,” Page said. “We are very proud of this development and believe it has something for everyone to enjoy.”

Park-goers can make the most of two dedicated trails, one for walking and one for cycling, while there is also a motorhome camping area for New Zealand Motor Caravan Association members.

There is fishing access along the river frontage at The Willows and Weedons Forest, with access via Thompsons Road and Weedons Ross Road.

Trail bike riders have a dedicated area at the Weedons Ross Road end of the park.

Four-wheel drive enthusiasts can access the river upstream of Intake Road on the south bank or the north bank of the Waimakariri River, west of Harrs Road.

The Willows is at the end of Thompsons Road, off Old West Coast Road in West Melton. The opening will start at midday on Saturday, May 11.

Everyone is welcome, and people are encouraged to arrive from 11.30am.

For more information about the opening of The Willows, contact the Environment Canterbury parks team via duty.ranger@ecan.govt.nz.