Park volunteers after helpers

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STAFF REPORTER

Knottingley Park needs more friends.

The Waimate park was established in 1890 by Michael Studholme, the first European settler in the area.

He planted trees and formed the grounds, which were originally full of tussocks, rushes and needing drainage.

Today it is under the care of the Friends of Knottingley Park and Arboretum.

The group was established in 1993 when the Waimate District Council asked for people to help staff with the park’s upkeep. It received a great response at the time, but since then, volunteer numbers had dwindled.

There were now about eight people volunteering their time.

Group member Heather Sell was putting the call out in the hope that more people would put their names forward and get stuck in.

“We are all getting to be in the older generation,” she said.

“In fact at our August AGM we could not form a working committee.”

This had become so dire that the group would meet next month to decide if it could continue.

Since its inception, it had been involved with a raft of improvements at the park, from the stonewall entrance to planting trees and daffodils.

Its current project was the creation of a plaque telling the history of the Pioneer Hut. The hut itself was in need of repair, and the group was hoping that would happen one day.

Anyone wanting to get involved can head along to a working bee at the park tomorrow from 9am-12pm; contact Heather Sell on (03)689-8696, or Ray Chamberlain on (03)689-2708.