I am a relative “Newbie”to the country community (5 years) but I have ties in Kumeu that
go back 30+. I was inspired when talking to some locals to write a “What To Do” information article to help townies like me fit into the community. With the help of Facebook and our community pages I asked for people to come up with some suggestions to make living in the community better for everyone.
After all the main reason we move to rural areas is because we want more space, less traffic, safer roads, less pollution and more peace and quiet. But we need to know the rules so we can fit in without complaining that the things we moved here for: are now the things we whinge about.
One of the first things I learnt was as soon as I put on heels I could guarantee that I would come across stock on the road. Which brings me to point number 1.
- Stock on the road –
Do: Stop and put them into a paddock, or driveway. Try to contact the owner (horse
owners maybe look at putting a contact number on
Don’t: Drive past or through them especially don’t toot your horn or flash your lights!
- Horses being ridden or walked –
Do: Slow down, turn down the music and give them a wide berth
Don’t: Drive past them at speed or toot your horn – remember one of the reasons you moved here was for the country lifestyle
- Gates open or closed
Do: Close a gate after you – there will be a reason it is closed!
Don’t: Leave a gate open you may let stock onto the road
- Country noises; you now the ones tractors, quads, chainsaws, dogs barking when bringing in cattle, the odd “Come on Girls” or “Get away back”
Do: Enjoy the sounds of the country
Don’t: Get you knickers in a twist and complain because its not the noises you are use too
Do: Give them a wave and a smile. Look out for each other, get to know your neighbours as they may be the only person to hear you if you need help.
Don’t: Ignore them. If you’re having fireworks or loud noises that may startle stock give them 24 hours notice so they can move them to an area further away
Do: Ride and enjoy the beautiful countryside and fresh air, stay to the left
Don’t: Ride 3 abreast; the speed limit on many of the roads is 80km and if someone comes round a corner and you are there they may not be able to stop or avoid you
- Horse floats and trucks
Do: Have some patience they don’t move as quickly as cars
Don’t: Pull out in front of them, as they take longer to stop
- Animals & fences
Do: Check your animals and fences daily, coming in to winter animals can break through as thunder and lightening become more frequent.
Don’t: Assume they are going to be ok, lack of feed in a paddock can also make them push through fences.
Last but definitely not least
Do: Take it home – if you see someone littering report them.
Don’t: Throw it out of your car or dump it in the ditches
So enjoy, smell the roses or cow manure, have respect and be ready to help your neighbours. Be part of the community and smile 🙂