Monday, 19 March 2012

Friends of Pigeon Valley: click for membership

Membership form for Friends of Pigeon Valley

Bayhead Mangroves | in Celebration of Durban Bay's natural heritage | last remnant of Mangroves honoured

Students, representatives from WESSA, SANBI and KZN Ezemvelo

View from the bird hide

Containers in the south

In the Mangroves

Learning about grasslands

Always a reminder of development

Boardwalk in the Bayhead Mangroves - the last remnant of....

SATURDAY 30 March 2012 | guided walk in the Hawaan Forest


 SATURDAY 30  March 2012

The Umhlanga Branch of the Wildlife & Environment Society of SA (WESSA) offer the monthly guided walk in the Hawaan Forest owned by Tongaat-Hulett Ltd. The walk starts at 08h00
This is not a strenuous walk and will last approx. 3 hours. Please meet at the corner of Portland and Herald Drives, Umhlanga Rocks. A donation to the Society for maintenance would be appreciated. Please contact    Phoebe Carnegie 031-5664018 or   Heather Cairns  031- 5620257 for further details.

PS: If you cannot make the morning walk, the Tree Group is visiting the Hawaan at 2 pm on the same day. 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sibudu Cave, heritage and environment

A visit to the remarkable Sibudu Cave on the Tongaat River raised important issues about heritage and the environment.  The slow and painstaking excavation has revealed remarkable information - bedding from 77 000 years ago, bone needles, arrowheads, the use of a composite glue made from plant gum and red ochre - some many thousands of years before their discovery elsewhere.  People were using the leaves of Cryptocarya woodii, the River wild-quince, in bedding; it has strong insect-repellent qualities.

Local people treat the cave as sacred and it has never been vandalised.  On the precarious edge of the cave grows a Natal Elm, Celtis mildbraedii, a very isolated speciment.  There are grounds for concern, though.  Barbados Gooseberry is spreading along the cliff-face.  There is sand-winning in the river at the entrance to the cave.  The extension of Hambanathi Township will bring more people, most with no connection to the local history, to the area.  There is an urgent need to bring together the preservation of this astonishing resource with the conservation of the natural environment along the Tongaat River.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Planting a new seedling

David Attenborough prepares the hole ready for planting, while Mfana Mabika holds a little seedling of the Celtis Mildbraedii, the Natal Elm.  This rare tree was being added to a piece of land just across the road from its home in Pigeon Valley.  Friends of Pigeon Valley are promoting the planting of the locally indigenous trees across this area, rich in biodiversity (even though it is a suburb close to the city centre).  The planting is at the corner of Mazisi Kunene and Queen Elizabeth Avenues, and took place on 10th March 2012.  Its career will be followed with keen interest.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

iziHlala zeTheku | Durban Celebrates Trees

We have a sparkling new blog for people to record trees of 
Durban that they love.

Go to and see what is 

The aim is to record trees and to develop a commitment to 
their preservation.  Ideally, people could write in with the 
name of the tree (if possibly, the scientific, English, Afrikaans 
and isiZulu names, but one at least will do), send in the GPS 
if available, and give the reasons why you love it. Send an 
email with the photo of the tree to

This will be a resource for scientists and a facility for 

Crispin Hemson

World Water Day at the Green Hub | Invitation 22 May 2012

The Draft Estuary Management Plan for the Bay of Natal (Durban Bay) is now available for public review

Dear Stakeholder,
The Draft Estuary Management Plan for the Bay of Natal (Durban Bay) is now available for public review and comment along with the Final Situation Analysis Report. The comment period will begin from 12 March 2012 to 13 April 2012. The reports can be accessed at the following places:
                 Durban Central Public Library;
                 Pinetown Public Library;
                 Bluff Public Library; and
                 Project website .

Invitation to a Public Meeting
You are invited to attend a public meeting where a presentation of the Draft Estuary Management Plan will be given. When: 19 March 2012 Where: Royal Natal Yacht Club Time: 17:30 to 19:00
Please direct all your comments and enquiries to Mischa Minne/Janet Mkhabela of ERM: (tel) 021 702 9100; (fax) 021 701 7900 Email:, Postal Address: Postnet Suite 90, Private Bag x 12, Tokai, 7966.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Yours sincerely
Janet Mkhabela
Project Consultant

ERM Southern Africa
Silverwood House,Block A
Silverwood Close,
Steenberg Office Park
Steenberg, 7945
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 702 9100
Fax: 0
86 662 2228

Sea View D’MOSS trails | walk Sunday 18 March 2012

Sea View D’MOSS trails walk

On Sunday 18 March 2012 residents of Sea View and others will participate in a walk along the D’MOSS trails through the forest between the Umbilo River and the Sarnia Road ridge. We meet at 10 o’clock at George Codnor Park, which is on the south side of Sarnia Road at the top of Coedmore Road, opposite Beacon Park. There will be ‘friends of D’MOSS trail walkers’ at George Codnor Park to look after your motorcars during the walk, and to have tea and juice ready for walkers afterwards. The ‘friends’ ask that walkers contribute R5 to the cost of the tea and juice.

The walk will take us under the railway line, across Sarnia Road, into Blairmont Road and Joubert Place. From Joubert Place we join the D’MOSS trails. The route includes a loop down towards the Umbilo River, and then back to a view site overlooking the river as it flows around the Portuguese Club. From the view site we walk down into the forest towards the M7. We cross the river (along the 50m of shoulder of the M7) onto the D’MOSS trail that follows the river round the river bend that we could see from the view site. After crossing the river again (back along the M7 shoulder) we explore different trails on our way back to Beacon Park.

We cross Sarnia Road at the robot to George Codnor and tea. The walk should take about two to two and a half hours. Nearly all the route is in shade but sun block, hats, and sturdy shoes are recommended.

Derek Nicholson
031 465 4278    or  072 400 1216