Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cornwall Park aviary upgrade ready to take flight

Hastings’ Cornwall Park aviary upgrade will begin next week, providing an improved environment for this much-loved facility’s feathered inhabitants, Hastings District Council has announced.

Council says the scheduled work arose from feedback received from the community during consultation on the Cornwall Park Reserve Management Plan (RMP) adopted by Council in March 2019.

Many submissions were received that were strongly in favour of not only retaining the aviary, but also enlarging and enhancing its cages, the Council said in a statement.

It says the upgrade will mean more space and plants for perching, foraging, flying and (for some) pulling branches apart.

“This will happen within the existing footprint, and will include all-new concrete throughout, replacing the netting around the entire structure, repairing and replacing any damaged structural steel, all new drainage, water stations and bird feeders, and a new ‘beach’ for the red-eared slider turtles to provide a more natural egg laying area,” Council said.

“To encourage natural behaviours in the aviary residents, specific varieties of trees and ground cover will be planted, and temporary tree branches will be placed in some enclosures for birds to pull apart.

“Enhancements of the bird shelters will be made to encourage more free-flight between areas, and construction of additional nesting boxes to encourage breeding.”

The planned work is being carried out in line with recommendations from Massey University and the Wildbase Trust to ensure the welfare of the birds and turtles is the top priority, Council said.

Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said it was exciting to have the work starting on this much-anticipated project, part of wider improvements in Cornwall Park.

“The aviary has brought delight to families for many years and our community sent a clear message they wanted it to remain in the park, and to be upgraded.

“Cornwall Park is much loved in our community and beyond, with its historic trees, premier playground, Osmanthus Gardens, sports fields, John Holt Memorial Display house and the old tea kiosk that’s being turned into a space for the community to enjoy.

“The upgraded aviary will add to all of these features, giving another reason for locals and visitors to enjoy this park.”

The upgrade is set to be completed in late March/early April.

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