West Aucklanders came out in force on Saturday September 10 to take advantage of a free hosted nature walk in the Waitakere Ranges.
Around 70 + people enjoyed the inaugural 'Great Westie Walk,' which was held as part of Conservation Week. It included guided walks from the Arataki Visitors' Centre, which followed the Arataki Nature Trail.
The event was organised by the Department of Conservation, Auckland Council and the Kauri Dieback Programme.
"The Westie Walk is the essence of what Conservation Week is all about, getting people of all ages out into their local natural spaces to reap the health and wellbeing benefits of being in nature and to learn more about measures we can all take to protect our precious taonga," says Andrew Baucke - Director of Operations, DOC Auckland.
Glenn Browne from the Arataki Visitors' Centre says the walk gave people the chance both to enjoy kauri, and to show they are a part of the solution to kauri dieback.
"The theme of this year's Conservation Week is 'joining the team;' the Great Westie Walk was a great way for families to join the rest of the community in helping to stop kauri dieback disease.
"That's done by cleaning footwear and other gear before and after going near kauri, keeping to the track, and by spreading the word about the need to stop kauri dieback," Glenn says.
Walkers were treated to a fundraising BBQ, and a bake stall put on by the Friends of Arataki group.
For further details or for comment, contact Jay Harkness, Kauri Dieback Programme Communications and Engagement Lead, on 09 820 7792/022 067 1185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.