Singles get ready to try 'spade-dating' on the Port Hills

Christchurch’s second spade-dating evening will be held from 5.45pm on Friday. Photo: Getty Images
Christchurch’s second spade-dating evening will be held from 5.45pm on Friday. Photo: Getty Images
Christchurch singles are being encouraged to try out an evening of “spade-dating” on Valentine’s Day.

Organised by Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and Christchurch City Council parks staff, it will be the second spade-dating evening to be held in the city.

The event at 5.45pm on Friday aims to give singles the chance to meet like-minded people while helping take care of trees and having a picnic on the Port Hills.

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand regional co-ordinator Hamish Fairbairn and city council parks visitor experience team member Sarah Mankelow are orgnaising the dating event.

“For a lot of people, the conventional idea of Valentine's Day makes them want to head for the hills, so we thought we could harness that for the good of our environment,” Mr Fairbairn said.

“Victoria Park is a beautiful place to spend some time in the evening and we do our best to make it a friendly, social atmosphere for everyone.

"Last year we found it worked really well for people to have something worthwhile to do while they chatted.

"Even if they don’t make a friend or someone they would like to spend more time with, they’ve achieved something positive and had a lot of fun.”

Participants will weed around native trees previously planted by school children for Arbor Day.

They will work in small groups and team leaders will throw out some conversation starters and teasers to help people get to know each other.

Following the picnic, the group has the option of heading to The Fermentist for a free refreshment.

What spade-daters need to know:

  • Wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather.
  • Gloves and tools will be provided.
  • A suggested $5 koha towards costs is welcome.
  • This is an R18 event and places are limited with registrations required.
  • Spade-daters meet in the small car park behind the Victoria Park Information Centre at 5.45pm. The working site is a short 10-minute walk away.
  • If the weather is poor the event will be postponed until Saturday, February 15 – notified by text.