Heavy rain destroys part of Brook fence

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A slip triggered by heavy rain in Nelson last week has caused significant damage to the Brook Sanctuary’s pest proof fence.

A significant 65 metres of the fence line, which was only completed six months ago, will need to be repaired, after a slip came down Fringed Hill above the pest proof fence track and the Dun Mountain Trail.

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary general manager Hudson Dodd says the entire perimeter of the fence was checked on Friday and they are now having the damage and repairs to the fence assessed.

“Once this process has been completed we will know what the programme of remedial works will look like,” he says. “Of course, we want the repairs to be done as soon as possible, but we won’t have a timeframe for this until the assessment is finished, which may take some time due to the complexity of the situation.”

Well-known Nelson mountainbiking advocate Bryce Buckland says it’s “not surprising” that the fence has been damaged, and it could have been prevented.

He has been against the building of the pest proof fence right from the start, and voiced his concerns after a 22 metre section of the Dun Mountain Trail slipped onto the fence line cut following heavy rain last March. “Why they put the fence in before clearing the remainder of the slip above it that was triggered by their fence cut is beyond me,” says Bryce.

“Now they are probably going to have to cut into the hillside again to fix the fence which will trigger another slip.

“When we get a significant rain and wind storm event, then we will see real carnage up there. They are fiddling with nature and they, and ratepayers, will pay the penalty.”

But Hudson says both the Trust and Nelson City Council were aware of the risk of slips on Fringed Hill.

“All prudent steps have been taken to minimise and mitigate that risk,” he says. “The great community benefits of the project outweigh the risk of slips to the pest proof fence.

While it’s disappointing to see it damaged, contractors are working on an assessment for repairs.”

Nelson City Council’s communication manager Paul Shattock says that engineers will be completing a more detailed investigation this week.