Mountain bike trail plan given $20,000 from board

Trail in the trees...Elevate Trail designer Tom Hay produced this concept plan to give an initial idea of how a network of mountain bike trails could be built in the Waikaia Forest. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

The trust planning to build a mountain bike trail network through the Waikaia Forest has been granted $20,000 from the Ardlussa Community Board.

The board considered the Waikaia Trails Trust funding request at its meeting last week.

The trust already has permission to build a 25km network of trails through the 700ha forest, which is owned by the Southland District Council.

The trust plans to use the grant to continue the planning phase of the project and has approached John Jones, of Ride Line Consulting, to provide a quote for a master plan.

In May, a public meeting was held in Waikaia to inform the community about the project, which was estimated to cost just under $1million.

Bike trail designer Tom Hey, of Queenstown, presented a concept plan of where trails could go.

A report detailing the progress to date was presented at the meeting by council community liaison officer Tina Harvey.

During the discussion of the funding request, board member Paul Eaton asked if it was likely the trust would be able to find the rest of the money for the project.

Ms Harvey said she was sure the money would be raised.

“The trustees have been very proactive in their fundraising initiatives,” she said.

“I can really see it going ahead.”

Once the master planning was done, the trust would have a better idea of the project’s cost.

The board also granted $10,000 to Switzers Museum, Waikaia, so work can be completed on the bottle house attached to the museum.