Working together . . . Members of the community, including the Waihao Wainono Catchment Community Group, celebrate the opening of new toilets near the Waihoa Walkway and black hole swimming area last month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Restoration of the Waihao River area has continued with the installation of new toilets.

The toilets were installed last year at each end of the Waihao walkway, at the black hole swimming area and McCulloughs Bridge, and officially opened last month.

It is part of the Waihao Community Restoration Project which was established to redevelop the Waihao River area as a recreational amenity for the community to enjoy.

‘‘It’s been good just to get to this point, because there’s been quite a lot of work go in behind the scenes,’’ Waihao Wainono Community Catchment Group chairman Roger Small said.

Groups involved in the installation of the toilet were invited to the opening, including representatives from the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury, Environment Canterbury, Waimate District Council, the catchment group and nearby landowners.

‘‘It’s just landowners and the regional council and the community working together to hopefully make a difference.’’

The community trust funded most of the cost of the toilets and the district council had given some money for fencing.

The project covered a 2km area, including the black hole swimming area, the Waihao walkway and the picnic area owned by the Waimate council.

Mr Small said the area was a popular spot when he was a child, but the 1986 flooding changed the landscape and made access more difficult.

‘‘Nobody cared for the area. It became a wee bit unsightly, with a lot of willow trees blocking the area.’’

Since the project started, many of the trees had been removed and community planting days were held in autumn and spring. The next one was scheduled for April.

‘‘That will be ongoing for quite some time,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s really good when everybody’s on board, it makes life so much easier.’’