Makara coastline clean-up : all grades
15 August 2013
Trampers can lug big loads over a distance on rough terrain, and these skills proved very useful for the club’s Makara coastline clean-up on Wednesday, August 15. All grades combined for the task, with sections of the beach allocated accordingly.
The wind was strong and bitterly cold when approximately 65 members and a few non-members gathered early at Makara Beach, where organiser David Ogilvie distributed bags and gloves supplied by the WCC to leaders and sorted who would go where. Margaret Foden’s R, BBB and E group of 22 members and 2 non-members covered the section closest to Makara Beach. Diane Head led the E/M and M trampers further along the coast as far as Opau Bay. The M/F group headed over to Opau Bay via the gun emplacement, led by David Ogilvie.
Quite unexpectedly, the strong winds experienced at the start abated as the groups moved away from the village. The windmills were barely moving, and the sun came out, so working conditions were very pleasant, with a background of gently pounding surf. The coastline itself is not easy to manage - a bench of loose rock oversteepened by the undertow and covered by a tangle of logs. Getting through the various layers to collect small items such as bottle tops was a challenge, but it was also quite fun. There was a treat for everyone, with a treasure of sports shoes, jandals, plastic duckies and other lucky dip novelties along with the depressing number of plastic bottles, fishing line and other utter junk that is choking our environment and killing wildlife.
There were some remarkable finds, such as a possum that climbed onto a rock to observe Diane’s group, much to the interest of Sue Chesterfield’s SAR dog, Matai, who had already found a ball for all-day games of ‘fetch’. A large pole labelled ‘Mana Coastguard’ was awkward to carry back. A baby goat was found beside its deceased mother, spotted by Warwick Wright from the M/F group about a kilometre south of Opau Bay; Cathy Milne had the bright idea of forming a teat from a disposable glove and feeding the frightened wee creature milk and water. Bill Wheeler carried the kid back and took it to the Wellington SPCA.
Those of us further around the coast had to keep an eye on the tide, which was due to peak around 1 p.m., plus it was going to be a big haul carting heavy bags and other items too big to fit in bags over the hill to our start point, so we turned around soon after a quick lunch at 12.30. It was very hard work, even for seasoned trampers, and we were thankful to finally arrive back at Makara around 3 p.m.
In all about 100 bags of rubbish were collected. Diane Head commented, “It was a very successful day, I feel, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.” A big thanks to David Ogilvie for organising a day when our club could make a real difference to the local environment, while having a great tramp as well. MC
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