Considered by many to be the unofficial "Godfather" of Otago mountain biking, Hamish Seaton has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary Dunedin in recognition of "an outstanding contribution to the health and enjoyment of all".
Typically his involvement has entailed the exploration of the route of a new trail by GPS fixing not only every twist and turn along the way but also desirable gradients, ever-conscious of minimising environmental impact and sensibilities. He has engaged with landowners as to wisdom of the project, and identifying the formal consents and easements required. The thorny issue of funding he has dealt with aplomb be it with Government, Local Council, Community Trusts and individual philanthropists.
Construction proceeded under his professional engineering eye using appropriate contractors and often local volunteers, in bush clearing, earthmoving/metal laying or bridge building. Hamish is consistently physically involved on site, building bridges galore, directing volunteers.
Locally, Hamish drives the construction of the Signal Hill Trail and can be seen every weekend, daylight to dark on this volunteer project.
Long term plans are towards a 50km trail that circles right around Dunedin. This will traverse the three main Peaks – Swampy Summit, Mt Cargill and Signal Hill. The Switchback Track will link to the 3-Peaks trail up on Swampy Ridge.