Christmas boost for outdoor access projects

Access to New Zealand's outdoors has received a pre-Christmas boost with nearly $24,000 in funding granted to three projects that will improve public access.

The funding has been awarded to applicants who were successful in the second round of the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's 2014-2015 Enhanced Access Fund. The fund is set up to support projects that provide free, certain, enduring and practical outdoor access for the public.

A significant portion of the funding will go to Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust. The Trust has been awarded $10,000 to support completion of the Great Taste Trail – one of New Zealand's Great Rides taking in some of the best of the Nelson and Tasman regions.

Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said the funding would help with survey costs and legal fees to secure easements over private land, with the agreement of landholders.

“The Great Taste Trail is a spectacular cycling and walking route that is winning international acclaim. This funding will help the trust to make it even better by assisting them with the costs of securing public access on sections of the route that are still to be completed.â€