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Kathmandu support for Marlborough Sounds’ conservation

Kathmandu support for Marlborough Sounds’ conservation programmes

New partnerships between adventure and camping gear retailer Kathmandu Ltd, the Department of Conservation and the Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust will enhance the natural landscape at a popular Marlborough holiday spot and enable campers to enjoy conservation activities during their campground stay.

Kathmandu and DOC today announced a three-year $75,000 partnership for a conservation programme at the DOC Momorangi Bay Campground in the Marlborough Sounds, enjoyed by campers for its picturesque and peaceful beachside location backed by bush.

In the programme, campers along with local residents and bach owners will be able to learn about conservation and help restore forest in the reserve behind the campground.

Additionally, Kathmandu employees will be able to contribute to improving the Momorangi Bay environment through Kathmandu’s “Share the Dream” programme in which they can make donations to specified charities including the Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust.

The trust for the past five years has been removing wilding pines in the Marlborough Sounds to enhance its scenic values and protect the natural environment. Kathmandu employees will be able to donate to the Trust which will work collaboratively with DOC at Momorangi.

DOC Sounds Area Manager Roy Grose said DOC was very grateful for Kathmandu’s support for the Momorangi Conservation Project which aims to provide educational conservation activities.

“Many families and individuals come to Momorangi from other parts of New Zealand. We hope in learning about conservation at Momorangi in an enjoyable, interactive way as part of their holiday they will take skills and knowledge back home along with keenness to get involved in conservation projects where they live.

“While at Momorangi, as well as swimming, boating, biking and other fun holiday stuff, they can if they want to, do some feel-good mucking in with weeding, planting, maintaining traps to catch pests and other activities that help in restoring native forest behind the campground and caring for three streams that run through it.

“Some families have holidayed at Momorangi for decades and are now into a fourth generation camping there. The trees they plant today could leave a legacy of tall natural forest to be enjoyed by their future generations should they continue to come to Momorangi.”

Kathmandu’s General Manager for Business Development and Sustainability, Paul Stern said the partnerships reflected the importance of the work of the Department of Conservation and the Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust and Kathmandu’s commitment to camping in New Zealand and its sustainability plan.

Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust chair, John Hellstrom, says the Momorangi project offers an exciting model for conservation.

“The project has huge potential as a way to engage with the community in learning about the Marlborough Sounds environment, and the things we can all do to protect and restore it in the future.

“The Trust is proud to be involved in this initiative, alongside DOC and Kathmandu, and look forward to working with the community at Momorangi.”

ENDS

Additional information

• Around 23,500 people a year stay at Momorangi Bay Campground in Queen Charlotte Sound, classed as a serviced DOC campground with hot showers, toilets and 50 tent sites, 84 powered sites and three cabins. It is a good stopping off point for walking or biking the nearby Queen Charlotte Track, which runs between Anakiwa and Ship Cove through lush coastal forest and along skyline ridges offering stunning views over the Marlborough Sounds.

• Forest in Momorangi Recreation Reserve valley behind the campground was in the past repeatedly burned and cleared. Seeds of some trees that once grew there, amongst them black and hard beech, rimu and kahikatea, are no longer present and these species are missing from its regenerating forest. Tree seedlings from these species are being propagated at Twidles Island tree nursery near Havelock from locally-collected “eco-sourced” seed with support from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology horticultural students. After about another two years’ growth the seedlings will be planted in an area behind Momorangi Bay Campground to establish an arboretum, or tree garden, which will provide seeds for replanting trees to restore the forest.

• Kathmandu is a growing international brand specialising in outdoor clothing and equipment for travel and adventure, with over 130 stores throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The company design and sell their own products and own their own stores.

• The Marlborough Sounds Restoration Trust was set up by local property owners in 2007 to facilitate restoration of the Marlborough Sounds’ native ecosystems and protect the area’s landscape values. In the past five years, its flagship programme has been the control of wilding pines throughout the Sounds, with expenditure of almost $1 million over that time.

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