Riversdale Beach Ratepayers Association (RBRA) and Masterton District Council (MDC) have finalised plans for harvesting the forestry block in Riversdale’s Southern Reserve. These trees, about 1000 in number, have reached an age where they should be harvested.

The current downturn in log exports to China has led to local commercial logging crews being available for work, and MDC and contractor Farman Turkington Forestry have decided to harvest the pine trees, starting on Wednesday 4 March. During logging operations, expected to take around two weeks, the reserve will be closed to maintain the safety of the public. The upper track will reopen for recreation once it has been made safe.

To minimise the impact of logging trucks going through the village, trucks will turn off the public road behind the golf course onto private land, and enter back onto Riversdale Road near the Orui-Riversdale road intersection. Any damage to the existing walking tracks will be repaired as soon as practical after the trees have been removed. MDC will be working with the RBRA on work programs and take any opportunities to make practical improvements.

MDC is planning to replant the area with native species in winter 2021, and there will be an opportunity for the local community to participate in this long-term restoration project. It is planned to leave some slash scattered along the escarpment to provide shelter for establishing natives. This is preferable to burning, as it is more environmentally friendly.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger and Sarah Brougton, and East Leigh Ltd, for allowing access over their farmland, reducing the environmental impact to the reserve and disruption to the village.

If you have any further queries, please phone Masterton District Council on 06 370 6300.