“Wellingtonians love our Town Belt and we are very happy we have been able to add more land to it,” he says.
“The vegetated gully has important landscape values as a natural backdrop for Aro Street and provides a green buffer between Devon Street and Victoria University. It has ecological connections to the nearby Zealandia and the rest of the Town Belt.
A mix of exotic and native trees, including a large eucalyptus, provide a habitat for several native bird species including kereru, kaka, tui, ruru, kotare (kingfisher), tauhou (silvereye), riroriro (grey warbler) and piwakawaka (fantail).
The land, part of the original Town Belt Deed, was taken by the Crown in 1931 for education purposes. It is now no longer needed for education purposes. The Council has purchased the site for $105,000.
Lambton Ward Councillor Brian Dawson says the Aro Valley community has been supportive of the Council acquiring this land for many years.
“Local people have expressed their desire to see this land return to the Town Belt. It will provide a great opportunity for a community-led project to restore the area,” he says.
The Council aims to build a public track through the land from the western end of Abel Smith Street to improve connections with Devon Street.
The land was identified as a high priority for acquisition in the Wellington Town Belt Management Plan 2013. View the Aro Valley land purchase aerial map August 2017 here.