The Council manages and maintains the Town Belt on behalf of the city's residents. The Council is responsible for over 250 individual reserves and open space properties totalling almost 3,000 hectares.
In 1995/1996 the Council introduced a Town Belt Management Plan to enhance and preserve the area.
Town Belt Management Plan
Outer Green Belt
A management plan for the Outer Green Belt was drawn up in 2003 to guide future management. The Plan has a vision for the entire Outer Green Belt that includes:
- planting natives to eventually create an almost continuous band of forest along the eastern slopes of the hills
- continuing grazing on many of the ridgelines to preserve views and traditional farming landscapes
Outer Green Belt Management Plan
Town Belt Management Plan review 2012
In 2010, the Council approved a draft set of Town Belt guiding principles, which were developed through workshops, discussion with stakeholders, market research and additional research. In December 2011, following public consultation, the Council approved an updated set of guiding principles for the Town Belt.
The Council will now use the principles to guide its review of the Town Belt Management Plan, the Town Belt Reinstatement Policy and any future legislative changes that might be needed.
The draft Town Belt Management Plan was open for public consultation from October to December 2012. Comments from the consultation are being considered and a final management plan will be presented to the Council for approval in May 2013.
Park Rangers are Council employees who help manage the city's natural areas. They also:
- monitor the Town Belts, sportsgrounds, beaches and coastal areas
- provide advice and help settle conflict
- build and maintain relationships with community groups including dog owners, rural landowners and four-wheel drive owners
- coordinate volunteers and community groups working on reserves, beaches and open spaces.