Participants walk through the Southern Cemetery as part of the Dunedin Town Belt Traverse yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The overwhelming public response in the inaugural Dunedin
Town Belt Traverse has prompted a call for a potential
permanent trail through the area.
Yesterday's traverse, which began at the Southern Cemetery
and finished at the Woodhaugh Gardens, was organised by the
Dunedin Amenities Society as part of its 125th anniversary.
Committee member Paul Pope said the society had planned for
up to 350 people to walk the 7.9km traverse, but members were
stunned when 530 people took part.
''We were overwhelmed with the turnout, and absolutely
thrilled with so many people taking part.''
He was particularly pleased with the number of families and
young people, which ''gave a bit of life into the Town
''So many people said they never knew all these things were
there, and that was a thrill for me.''
Due to the response, the society may contemplate holding a
similar event in a few years, he said.
''We hope the traverse will act as a catalyst for permanent
trail through the Town Belt in the future.
''It is so close to the city and it such a beautiful area,
there is so much birdsong it could be that little thing that
visitors to the city and even locals would do.
Mr Pope said the society, which has around 70 paid-up
members, had played a ''big part in the conservation
landscape of the city, and what we have seen today may entice
other people to join us''.
The Town Belt was an important reserve for the city and it
was hoped residents would take a more active interest,
including tackling council about is management and
maintenance, he said.