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Track maintenance

Keeping drains clear keeps tracks clear

There are some great tracks and board walks in Le Roys which are very popular with walkers and joggers of all ages.
These tracks need regular maintenance. Council contractors currently clear plant growth and drains about 4 times a year. In addition they come in to do repairs where problems occur from storms and floods or to repair board walks where safety issues arise.

The most frequent problems result from heavy rains overflowing the drains and washing out the tracks and making ponds in the tracks.

As Council has a limited budget allocated to Parks Maintenance, the more local volunteers do, the cheaper it is for residents and ratepayers in the long run - because every time a track is washed out, more gravel has to be carried in and spread on the tracks.

Do you have any drainage pipes or culverts that are surplus to your needs?

To help volunteers improve tracks around Le Roys Bush reserve, we are looking for some lengths of plastic drainage pipe - preferably with a smooth surface inside - to lay under walking tracks.  

We are looking for lengths of plastic pipe that are ideally:

  • 1800mm (6 foot) long or longer (although 5 foot would be acceptable for some locations
  • 150mm (6 inches) or more in diameter (although 100mm ie 4 inch would be acceptable)
New or second hand is ok. Offcuts or full lengths welcome. We'd prefer unslotted pipe with smooth interior.

Donations or low cost preferred. (Thanks very much to Bob for his kind contribution on 3 Oct 2015).

Please let us know what you have by email leroysbush@gmail.com or phone 021-240-9414 if you can help.
We'd also welcome any lengths of No 8 fencing wire if you have some surplus to your needs. Even short lengths are welcome.

How volunteers can help?

We are very lucky in having an expert volunteer doing some work already.  This volunteer has been fine-tuning the drainage so that in a heavy downpour the drains don't flood and cause the stormwater to scour the gravel from the track.
  • clearing out the ditches alongside the tracks
  • clearing the drainheads next to the drains which run under the tracks
  • clearing soil that has fallen onto board walks.
He has done wonders but we would welcome others who might like to help for times when he is away.

The simplest thing you could do, if you are a regular walker, is to lift leaves and sticks from the drain heads and ditches so that water can run freely under the track. Just place the sticks and leaves on a bare patch where there are no plants growing.

If you'd like to help with more, please email us at LeRoysBush@gmail.com or phone 021-240-9414. 

Also if you see a broken board or loose mesh, please report it to Council to avoid the risk of injury to other park users.
For more details, see: Report pests, problems & pollution

We'd welcome ideas to improve storm water management

On 5 September, 3 Birkenhead residents, Geoff, Laurie and Keith took a walk down the track from Le Roy Terrace to Dudding Park to look at ways to reduce the risk of stormwater scouring out the track.  Geoff has a life time of building experience and Laurie as a civil engineer.

The first area of interest was the stormwater drains running from Hinemoa Street and Le Roy Terrace houses down to the junction of the two tracks.

This area has had new gravel several times over the past few years. But each heavy storm scours it out.

The volunteers have been clearing the drain heads and scraping spilt gravel back onto the track, but have identified some solutions to reduce the risk of scouring and ponding:
  • extend the stormwater pipes from houses under the track rather than spilling into the drain 
  • add more "baffles" across the track to retain the gravel (and to reduce the drop from a step onto the track below)
They also discussed the possibilities of 
  • a small bridge or a swale to allow the water across the track without scouring out the gravel
  • providing camber on the gravel to encourage water runoff (eg to scrape spare gravel away from the downhill edge)
  • allowing water to run through the downhill boards to prevent ponding
  • avoiding erosion where joggers run off track - resulting in silt buildup on the track
  • investigating the increased erosion up hill off Hinemoa Street - where silt has been washed down the streams and over the walkways.
We plan to put a proposal to Council soon - so would welcome your views by 19 September.

Track specifications - your views?

While all users are keen to have safe tracks that are free of snags and mudholes, there are a wide range of people who enjoy the tracks.

How can these varying needs be best met?  We'd welcome your views.

Wheelchairs and prams:
  • Le Roys tracks are pretty up and down - the only exception is the Louise Wadham walkway near the Northcote Bowling Club.
  • Hopefully when the track from the Senior Citizens Hall up to below Birkenhead Ave is built this may be suitable for wheelchairs
Pushchairs and strollers:
  • It is possible to take a child through parts of the track network in a stroller without two adults to lift it up steps - but it's not easy
  • A light child in a stroller can be managed up and down steps where the step length is long and the drop not too great.  But in places it needs two people.
  • The Glade Place and Valley Road entrances used to be ok for pushchairs but around 2007, the sloping track was replaced by steps and was no longer suitable for pushchairs. We'd welcome the views of track users what you'd like to see here.
Joggers:
  • The tracks seem to be popular with joggers - although there are few passing bays on the narrow board walk just below the junction of the LeRoys and Onewa Road tracks.  Do joggers have other suggestions?
Doggers:
  • From 2015, it is now a requirement to have dogs on a leash in Le Roys Bush itself.  This is to protect the bush and native wildlife from risks.
  • Dudding Park is an off leash area.  
  • We'd welcome views on how we can make the reserve more pleasant for all track users without taking anything away for the environment.