Combined initiative produces Peninsula research

Lincoln University has just published LeAP research papers thanks to support from the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust.

The Trust commissioned reports into the Spine of the Lizard walking route and Orton Bradley Park and assisted with funding a report into marine tourism in Akaroa sponsored by the Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society. Three students, supported by staff from the Department of Social Science, Parks, Recreation Tourism and Sport carried out the research over the summer of 2013-14.

The Spine of the Lizard study investigated existing and potential usage of the Banks Peninsula Summit Walkway and associated feeder tracks. The Orton Bradley study investigated the existing and potential use of the Park. The Akaroa study took a baseline of the relationship between marine tourism and marine protection prior to the gazettal of the new marine reserve.

The Spine of the Lizard research showed how extensively the existing network of Summit Walkway tracks is used and how highly users (largely from Canterbury) value them. A large number of potential users surveyed said they were unaware of the recreational opportunities afforded by the Summit Walkway and associated tracks. Users and potential users supported better linked information, better signage and another hut on the network.

Summit Walkway heading to Mt Herbert

Heading to Mt Herbert along the summit

The Orton Bradley Park study showed families with children used the park more than others – many were repeat users, sometimes over generations. Potential users surveyed showed interest in easy walking tracks. As families are the largest user group, the report suggested developments such as a mini bike-trail and progressively challenging walking tracks could be looked at for the future. It also recommended other forms of promotion.

The Akaroa study showed the important role the marine environment plays in attracting visitors. The majority of those surveyed were drawn to Akaroa by its harbour scenery and wanting to see dolphins and other marine life. Most marine tourism operators inform and educate their customers about marine protection. Their visitors said this helped to increase their understanding of marine protection measures. Resurveying in a few years time was recommended.

Boats on Akaroa Harbour

On Akaroa Harbour

These research findings and recommendations will be useful in future planning and decision making for all agencies and organisations with an interest in the study areas and the Trust extends it thanks to the staff (Stephen Espiner, Emma Stewart and Michael Shone) and students (Phil Holland, Scotty Moore, and Jacqueline Rose) involved in making this research a success.

Further information:
The reports have been published as Land Environment and People (LEaP) papers and are available on line:
Summit Walkway research
Akaroa research
Orton Bradley Park research