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Volunteers refurbish Dorset Ridge Hut in the Tararuas

A group of volunteers have worked hard over the past month to transform the Department of Conservation’s Dorset Ridge Hut in the Tararua Forest Park. A building crew from Horowhenua and Wairarapa teamed up with local business Amalgamated Helicopters to upgrade the hut’s facilities, replacing everything from the kitchen bench to the fireplace. DOC programme manager visitor assets Garry Foster is “delighted” with the result.“The volunteers – Graham Wilton, Dave McLean, Allan and Marilyn Day, Maria Clement, Dave Simmons and Cody Delacroix – worked very hard and their transformation of the hut is immense.”They also installed a new toilet, engaging some kiwi ingenuity to capture rain water to use for washing hands. And they constructed a new porch complete with solar lights.” Amalgamated Helicopters went over and above the call of duty by flying all the loads of equipment and people required to complete the project free of charge. “That’s huge, they’ve been extremely generous”, Mr Foster said.

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The project was made possible with funding from the Wellington region Huts Committee. Set up more than 15 years ago the Huts Committee, supported by the Department of Conservation, helps to maintain non-core huts within the Wellington region including structures in the Tararua, Rimutaka and Forest Parks. They organise materials and volunteers to help keep huts in good conditions for visitors.“We have a number of huts in isolated areas and maintaining them is difficult and costly,” Garry Foster said.  “Having a community group transform Dorset Ridge Hut means that its future is guaranteed and that’s really exciting.  We really appreciate the support of the different recreational groups that help maintain the network of visitor facilities on conservation land in our area and would like to say a big thank you in particular to all those involved in the Dorset Ridge project.” TO SEE MORE ON THIS PROJECT GO TO OUR DORSET HUT RESTORATION PAGE HERE

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