A&F Bulletin - On your bike

Columns
Monday, May 18, 2015

Watching Country Calendar on Saturday 16 May, I was reminded of just how resilient the average farmer must be.  To survive, farming communities must learn how to cope with factors beyond their control, like the fickleness of the weather as well as the ups and downs of global markets.

Thankfully, Marlborough appears to have come through the worst of the drought and hopefully those in North Canterbury will get some much-needed autumn rain in the near future.

Saturday’s programme, if you didn’t see it, was at Bog Roy Station in the upper Waitaki.  Husband and wife, Lisa and Dave Anderson, were using a combination of good science and the utilisation of natural assets to ensure the long-term survival of the station.

Part of that plan was to find ways to build on the growing popularity of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail that runs along 13 kms of their property, along the shoreline of Lake Benmore.  Lisa Anderson said that the cycle trail had been a huge boost to the area and that they were keen to be on board, providing accommodation and food.

Here in Marlborough we too have an extremely successful cycleway network, largely based around the Queen Charlotte Track, Nydia Bay, Waikakako but also including the popular winery tours.

I am keen to see these routes extended into the Awatere and Flaxbourne areas. The project ties in nicely with the Link Pathways project between Havelock and Picton, as well as other initiatives.

We all know the economic spin-offs of cycle trails for regional economies in places like Central Otago and the Waitaki River Valley.   Coupled with other projects in the Awatere and Flaxbourne, a cycle trail would add value to the economy of the area.  There would undoubtedly be business opportunities with the increased demand for accommodation, food and other services.

Funding is available from the Government for ‘construction ready’ projects.   It is great that the region has such a committed group of people working off their own backs to complete the feasibility phase of the project.   I invite you to join me by supporting  them on this important initiative.