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Raewyn Lock (second left) from the Mt Somers Store hands over a cheque of $1500 from raffle proceeds to Mt Somers Walkway Society members (from left) Charles Ross, Marian Bellamy, Colin Bellamy, Robbie Martin, Robert Schikker and Constable Emma Milburn. Photo supplied

Financial support continues to come in for the new Sharplin Falls track being developed by the Mt Somers Walkway Society.

Recent donations have come from the Mt Somers Store, which ran a raffle and raised $1500, and from the Methven and District Tramping Club which donated $4000.

There have also been grants from the NZ Walking Access Commission ($20,000) and New Zealand Community Trust ($10,000).

The walkway society was very grateful for all of the support, society chairman Charles Ross said.

The total cost of the project has been affected by rising costs and Department of Conservation requirements was $490,000 and $90,000 still needed to be raised.

The end goal was not too far away now, he said.

Mr Ross said support for the project had come from many different sources and local interest, backing and encouragement had been “exceptional”.

Ashburton District Council staff had assisted in the lodging of a recent large application to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the outcome of which would not be known for some time, he said.

Two bridges required to cross Bowers Stream are being engineered and galvanized over winter and track construction is planned to begin in October.