Friends of Wainui is celebrating its 20th birthday with an open day walk at 10.30am on Sun 17 Nov from the car park at 350 Wainui Rd.

The group, mainly formed out of the then two year old Raglan Ramblers, had its first meeting on 8 November 1993. It started to look after the 10 hectare Bush Park, part of the renamed 140 hectare Wainui Reserve, after the former Pilot Reserve had been largely saved from housing development. The farm either side of the Wainui Stream was transformed by planting about 15,000 trees.

As well as tree planting, walkways and other features have been added. In 1996 the walkway to the beach and Trig Point was created, the next year, the bush walkway to the main access road to the reserve and, in 1999, the pond feature was built. As the bush has grown, maintenance has become a larger part of the work. The Friends meet alternate Mondays (ring 825 7866 if you’d like to help) to mow and clear the tracks, keep pests and weeds under control and add new plants.

Initially the Friends largely relied on donations, but, since 2009, a large part of the income to run the Bush Park has come from sale of ‘Panorama of Raglan’ calendars. They are on sale for $15 at the Bookshop, Trade Aid, SuperValue, Bow St Gallery and the Info Centre. Many get sent as Christmas presents to all parts of the world.

The walk on Sunday will be an opportunity to explore less visited parts of the park, see the variety of plants and hear some of the history, which includes a former flax mill and pa site.

John Lawson