On 5 October 2018, the Summit Road Society took possession of Tussock Hill farm after several years of negotiation. This acquisition was made possible through donations and bequests from members, most notably the late Jack Hutchinson and current President Bill Woods.
The 233ha property is located between the Avoca and Horotane Valleys. It will be developed into an open space reserve for the people of Christchurch to enjoy. This process is going to take time and we ask for patience from the public.
In the meantime, the public is permitted to enter Tussock Hill farm. However, extra care is required. The property has not yet been developed into a public reserve, it is a working farm and there are farming and natural hazards.
• There are cattle onsite until 4 December 2018 including cows and their young. They tend to congregate near the valley floors. Keep your distance, cows with young can be very protective. After 4 December 2018, there will be sheep onsite. Sheep will graze to keep down woody weeds and to reduce the fire risk.
• Please be aware there are pools of water for stock purposes.
• There are limited farm tracks only, some of which are in rough condition.
• Please be mindful of the natural hazards common to the Port Hills, including steep terrain and the risk of rockfall.
• The best access is from Mary Duncan Reserve (off Port Hills Road). Follow the pipe to the gate into Tussock Hill Farm. Access from Horotane Valley Road has been temporarily closed while a safe pedestrian route is developed.
The Society is currently in the process of developing a management plan for the reserve. There will be opportunities for the public and stakeholder groups to give feedback so please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page. We are also planning an official opening of the reserve, including a new name in the near future.