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Welcome To The Great Gravel Grab

Welcome To The Great Gravel Grab

Greater Wellington is once again holding the Great Gravel Grab on the banks of the Hutt River on Saturday 2 February and on the Otaki River on Saturday 9 February. Last year hundreds of people turned up to get their trailers loaded with gravel to take home to use in landscaping and doing up their gardens, so the Flood Protection team is expecting another big turn out this year.

Jeff Evans, Team Leader Western Operations said "Every year more and more people turn up to the Great Gravel Grabs to get some free gravel for all those DIY projects in their gardens, and at the same time learn a little about the work we do on the river protecting their homes from damaging floods."

Thane Walls, the Hutt River Ranger, will be at the Hutt Great Gravel Grab to talk to people about what you can do for fun along the river. "Hundreds of people run, walk their dogs, cycle and swim in the river every day over the summer months, so I'm here to help people do that in the best location and as safely as possible. I'll be at the gravel grab so if anyone has any questions about what they can and can't do along the river, just come up to me and have a chat," said Thane.

You can bring along a shovel with your trailer or ute (but leave the trucks at home) and get a load of free gravel from the diggers that will be in action on the riverbed. You can also collect as many larger river stones as you like, as long as you do it by hand, and your trailer can still move. GW staff will be checking that trailers and utes are roadworthy before gravel is loaded, so double check the tyres are pumped, and that the suspension works before you leave home.

Usually you need permission from Greater Wellington to remove gravel and stones from the riverbed and it is usually only granted for hand picking stones. GW does not allow private use of mechanical extractors as it's important that rocks and gravel are removed from where there's too much gravel and not removed from where it's needed.

Every year GW extracts up to 80,000 cubic metres of gravel from the Hutt River and 40,000 cubic metres from the Otaki River as part of the flood protection measures used along the river corridors. High riverbed levels and gravel banks can be a factor in erosion and flooding. Removing gravel helps reduce the erosion pressure and increases the river's capacity to cope with flooding.

Come along to the Hutt Great Gravel Grab between 10am-2pm on 2 February. To get there, exit SH2 just north of Moonshine Bridge onto Moonshine Rd, and turn right into Moonshine Park.

Or the Kapiti Great Gravel Grab on the Otaki River between 10am-2pm on Saturday 9 February. To get there turn left off SH1 immediately north of the bridge and follow the signs.


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