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Fence fund needs your support

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society (SOSSI) and Auckland Regional Council (ARC)

27 November 2007

 

Fence fund needs your support

 

Imagine a safe haven on the end of a peninsula where native species thrive in picturesque surroundings.  A place where visitors hear, see and learn about New Zealand’s natural treasures.  Where our nation’s farming heritage co-exists with recreation and conservation.

With your help, this vision can become a reality. The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and the Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc. (SOSSI) are working together to create an open sanctuary at Shakespear Regional Park on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

On Sunday 2 December SOSSI will launch its Fence Post Appeal.  The public are invited to Shakespear Regional Park (from 11.30am) for a BBQ, to learn about the open sanctuary and take the opportunity to become part of this special project.  This is the first fundraising event to help pay for a 1.5km predator-proof fence that will span the peninsula and keep unwanted pests out of the park.

SOSSI Chairman Allan Parker says the group hopes to raise around $100,000 through the Fence Post Appeal.

“The predator-proof fence will cost around $600,000 to build and we want to kick-start fundraising with an opportunity for supporters to buy a piece of the fence – so to speak!” he says.

“Individuals, families or businesses can donate the cost of a ‘post’ or can simply make a donation to the fence appeal.

“SOSSI is aiming to come up with two thirds of the amount needed to fund the fence through a combination of appeals, sponsor donations, community grants and other fundraising activities.  The Auckland Regional Council will be contributing the remainder,” he says.

A contribution toward a fence post will cost $50.00 or people are welcome to make a donation of any amount to the appeal.

Many Rodney residents and regional park visitors are familiar with the open sanctuary at Tawharanui Regional Park near Warkworth.  The Shakespear Open Sanctuary is a like concept and will follow a similar development process. 

The Shakespear Open Sanctuary will enclose 555 hectares of land at the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, including the land owned by Rodney District Council and the New Zealand Defence Force.  The local council and NZDF land will continue to operate as they do today and these areas will not be accessible to the public.

Chair of the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Sandra Coney says this is an exciting time for Shakespear Regional Park and urges people to support the open sanctuary project.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to be involved in something special from the very beginning,” she says.

“The Shakespear Open Sanctuary will become a stepping stone for bird species to return to the mainland from the gulf islands.  Once the fence has been built and the pests eradicated, visitors will quickly notice an increase in biodiversity as more species return to their former home.

“Open sanctuaries are very special places because they encourage a sense of harmony between visitors, farmed animals and wildlife,” she says.


Mr Parker says SOSSI raises funds and assists with pest control, planting and restoration work.

“The next few years, as we plan for the building of the fence and the opening of the sanctuary are going to be very busy for SOSSI.  Anyone can become a member and we hope that lots of new supporters will join us in the coming months as the Fence Post Appeal gains momentum,” he says.

 

For further information on making donations to the Fence Post Appeal or contributing toward a fence post phone, 09 424 500 or email info@shakspearopensanctuary.org.nz.

 

ENDS

 

Shakespear Open Sanctuary Fence Post Appeal Launch

·          Sunday 2 December 2007

·          11.30am – 1pm

·          Shakespear Regional Park

·          Everyone welcome

·          BBQ, proposed fenceline tour, open sanctuary information

 

About the Shakespear Open Sanctuary

·          The ARC and SOSSI plan to create a pest proof fence which will run coast to coast. The fence will enclose 555 hectares of land at the end of the peninsula.

·          Shakespear Regional Park has 10 species that are considered pests. These include mice, ship rats, norway rats, weasels, stoats, ferrets, cats, possums, rabbits, hedgehogs.

·          The Auckland Regional Council will apply for regional consents for the pest proof fence and animal pest eradication, including discharge of aerial bait, in 2008 and 2009.

·          The pest proof fence is due to be constructed from October 2009 to February 2010.

·          Pest eradication, including an aerial bait drop of toxin and ground based methods, is scheduled for July and August of 2010. Two aerial applications, ideally a fortnight apart, is normal. This however is weather dependent.

·          For further information about Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc. go to www.sossi.org.nz

·          For further information about Shakespear Open Sanctuary go to www.arc.govt.nz

Shakespear Regional Park

·          Shakespear Regional Park is an ARC regional park.  It was purchased by the then Auckland Regional Authority 40 years ago, in 1967, from the Shakespear family.  For more information about Shakespear Regional Park go to www.arc.govt.nz

·          Shakespear Regional Park is on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 50 kilometres and approximately 40 minutes drive from downtown Auckland.

·          To get there, follow State Highway 1 north and take the Silverdale off ramp. Go through Silverdale, turn right on to Whangaparaoa Rd and follow the signs to the end of the peninsula

ends
 

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