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Archived News Item. Note that information below may no longer be current or accurate.
Archived: 29 Jan 2018 3:58pm


Camping areas at Coes Ford and Chamberlains Ford are back up and running after the July floods ravaged the areas – just in time for the busy summer period.

During the floods, the Selwyn River burst its banks with a peak flow of 697 cumec, ripping through both campgrounds and damaging nearly everything in its path.

The campgrounds were in a sorry state, requiring an incredible amount of work and perseverance over five months to have the campgrounds ready for summer, Reserves Officer Chris Burke says. “We are really pleased to have these two important campgrounds ready for the public to enjoy. After the floods, we went straight into Coes once the water subsided. We cleaned all of the silt from the main toilet block and removed debris from the fences - just for the area to be re-flooded another five times over the coming months.”

The Council also brought together some biodiversity experts to provide community help, removing river debris from plants and staking up flattened shrubs.

“At Chamberlains Old Bridge Rd entrance, we repaired broken fence lines and removed river debris, re-based and graded shingle driveways as the current shingle drives had completely been washed away leaving only a soil base. We cleaned out the toilet areas and tested all equipment, checked the stability of all of the trees and removed any that had been compromised,” Chris says.

The NZ Army also pitched in at Chamberlains, by providing 100 personnel for four hours through one of its youth programmes. The volunteers re-staked plants, removed river debris, hand picked stones off the turf areas and put topsoil around the roots of eroded shrubs.

At Chamberlains Bethels Rd entrance, river shingle that had been washed into area from the flood was removed, a large scour in the ground was filled in, the entire site was re-levelled and the driveway was fixed.

At both sites there are currently small areas that are still not ready to be opened to the public. At Coes, on the south side of the ford, the toilet block needs to be re-levelled on a raised mound as it was washed out during the floods.

At Chamberlains, due to massive amount of re-levelling works and reinstatement works of the site, the grass in the area needs time to recover and regenerate.

The Council will be erecting new signage at both Coes and Chamberlains before Christmas. The Council asks that visitors to the area take time to read the new signs and follow the instructions.

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