Large Port Hills farm now public reserve

A large swathe of farmland on Canterbury's Port Hills has been secured as a public reserve, after years of negotiation. 

The transfer of Tussock Hill Farm to the Summit Road Society was completed on Friday.

The purchase was made possible by two large public donations.

Tussock Hill Farm was previously owned by All Black Terry McCashin and is located between Mt Vernon (Rapaki Track) and Castle Rock reserves.

Society President Bill Woods said the purchase means the 233 hectare property will be protected from subdivision, maintaining the open space character on the doorstep of Christchurch City.

"It will ensure that the largest remaining freehold land in that part of the Port Hills will be secured as a public reserve for the use of all those who choose to venture onto this diverse and unique landscape in the Avoca and Horotane valleys," he said. 

The purchase of this parcel of land makes the Summit Road Society one of the largest landowners on the Port Hills.

Tussock Hill Farm is now a public reserve.
Tussock Hill Farm is now a public reserve. Photo credit: Supplied.

In taking on ownership, it commits the society to maintain and enhance its natural state so a considerable amount of planning and development will have to be programmed for the future.

"This will be a huge but not impossible task for the society, already we have had offers of help and interest in membership," said Mr Woods. 

An official opening where the new name for the reserve will be released is expected soon.