Pūtaringamotu/Riccarton Bush – Major Enhancement Project
We need your help to protect, conserve and enhance Pūtaringamotu Riccarton Bush.
Riccarton Bush Pūtaringamotu is a 7.8-hectare remnant Kahikatea Forest situated just 3km from the city centre of Christchurch. Gates are open during daylight hours and public access during these times is free.
There are nearly 900 metres of tracks to enjoy with it all being flat and accessible to most. As you wind your way through this ancient forest be sure to keep an eye and an ear out for the numerous native birds that call this place home, such as: Kereru/Wood Pigeon, Korimako/Bellbird, Piwakawaka/Fantail, and Riroriro/Grey Warbler. These birds, as well as native insects and geckos are here largely because Riccarton Bush is surrounded by a predator-proof fence.
Pūtaringamotu is hugely significant, ecologically and culturally. It is the largest remnant of alluvial podocarp forest on the lower Canterbury Plains and Banks Peninsula, a forest type that today only covers a tiny fraction of its former extent. It is a key Mahinga Kai site for Ngai Tūāhuriri, and the place of first permanent European settlement in Otautahi.
The Bush was gifted to the people of Christchurch by the Deans family, with the official hand-over date being 2 November 1914 (when the Riccarton Bush Act was gazetted). The Act seeks to preserve the bush for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of Christchurch. This is achieved through vigilant stewardship by the Riccarton Bush Trust and the operational staff.
The Riccarton Bush Trust is charged with protecting and enhancing Pūtaringamotu/Riccarton Bush as well as promoting its natural and cultural heritage. Putaringamotu/ Riccarton Bush is a very special place and gets over 75,000 visitors each year. Areas of the boardwalk are starting to fail, and the concrete paths have become displaced and uneven and are creating a tripping hazard. Our interpretation and signage are dated and there is very little to inform and educate our visitors on the cultural significance of this very special place.
The scope of the project is to:
- Integrate Ngāi Tūāhuriri narratives, values and associations with Pūtaringamotu/Riccarton Bush through design, art, entrance experience and interpretation
- Upgrade of the track system and infrastructure
- Develop areas such as the Grove to support larger groups visiting Pūtaringamotu/Riccarton Bush
- Provide interpretation to educate, engage and encourage participation
During May and early June 2021 we consulted with the users of Pūtaringamotu/Riccarton Bush to get ideas and opinions. We have been working with our Project Leaders, Kamo Marsh, the final plan is completed and the Resource Consent has been approved.
The Trust has partnered with the Christchurch Foundation to raise funds for one of the biggest projects since the predator-proof fence was installed. The project will cost around $2.4 million.