Knottingley Park gets Arboretum Status

Published: 12 Apr 2017

The Waimate District Council has given the green light for Knottingley Park to be gazetted as an Arboretum and in future known as ‘Knottingley Park and Arboretum’.

The proposal, initiated by the ‘Friends of Knottingley Park’ had full support around the Council table at last week’s Council meeting.

Mayor Craig Rowley says the new name will better reflect the type of park Knottingley is, and recognise the age and uniqueness of this “Jewel in the Crown” of Waimate parks.

The 34 hectare Knottingley Park was developed in 1854 as a native reserve – making it one of the oldest parks in New Zealand. In 1874 it became the Waimate Park Reserve - and planting started in 1878; by 1890 there were 8,400 trees planted. Development has continued up to the present day with substantial input since 1994 from the ‘Friends of Knottingley Park’.

Research was carried out with Eastwoodhill Arboretum, the National Arboretum of New Zealand, who advised that there is no impediment to the park being called an Arboretum.  They also wrote to Council recommending and encouraging Knottingley Park to attain the title of Arboretum.  Council also received letters of support from Blueskin Nurseries and the International Plant Propagators Society, who enjoyed a visit to Knottingley Park last year.

Mayor Rowley says one of the benefits will be increased visitor potential; a brochure is to be created for visitor tours around the park.

He adds the park is already well used for recreation activities all year round, and there will be the potential for the park being used for increased recreational activity like concerts and sporting events.

He says the ’Friends of Knottingley Park’ have already installed name plaques on a substantial number of trees, showing the species, country of origin and GPS co-ordinates.  

Mayor Rowley commends the ‘Friends of Knottingley Park’ on their work helping Council keep this facility such a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy.