Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The WESSA Durban branch short internship project – what we learnt
Four interns have now completed a short internship with WESSA, and reflect on their learning over the project

Kizito Takawira

Simangaliso Fakude
‘There are people who do not even know what is happening in this world.  There are people who are
the exact opposite, who take the world as their home, while others feel that they are just passing by.’

‘… in order to be sustainable, to live sustainably, we have first to be the change we want to see.  We have first to change our behaviours, our communities, our families, so that we can live in an environmentally friendly way.’

Nobuhle Kakhe

Mfanelo Ntombela
‘…not ever have I once I ever considered environmental protection in my programmes.  From here onwards
I will be designing projects with this not just at the back of my head but starting with it. ‘

‘Somehow it was made that nature supports itself, it was amazing to know that.  There is an ecosystem in which everything supports the other. … What I have learnt the most is that we must not work in isolation.’

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Twin spots water; Twinspot spots water

I have been complaining to Metro Water about a constant flow of water into Pigeon Valley.  The unfortunate officials trying to deal with this have so far not located the leak and are faintly suggesting that we now have a spring that was never here, even in the wettest summer.  However, not all is bad: I attach the evidence of two other users of Pigeon Valley who made the most of it.  I am intrigued by the raptor: it looks like a juvenile African Harrier-Hawk, but the colouring gives it away as a Black Sparrowhawk in moult.  At least the other is undoubtedly a mature male Green Twinspot.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Umgeni Estuary Conservancy | 22 July 2012 | Beachwood Mangroves social

Dear  Friends

Umgeni Estuary Conservancy | 22 July 2012 | Beachwood Mangroves social

Please join us Sunday 22 July 2012 for an Umgeni Estuary Conservancy get together in the Beachwood Mangroves.  We are privileged to be able to spend a leisurely Sunday - from 11.00 onwards - in this beautiful habitat!  It is a BYO, but we will provide the salads and condiments.  We will be ready to braai by lunch time.

We are free to walk in the Mangroves and once again enjoy this very beautiful space.  Thanks to Basil Pather of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for generously allowing us the use of the Mangroves for our  social.

We look forward to seeing you all there.  Please call or email if you have any queries and would like to RSVP.
Kind regards
Margaret Burger

cell: 083 630 5380
email: umgeni.estuary.conservancy@gmail.com

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

WESSA takes steps to protect Hawaan Forest

The pristine and historic Hawaan Forest at Umhlanga needs specific action to ensure its continued viability it, the Durban Branch of WESSA resolved at its recent AGM.  Phoebe Carnegie, the local custodian of the area, spoke about her concerns at a recent meeting.  One problem is the increased number of fallen trees, some of which are blocking the trails.  With the increased sunlight, there has been a spread of grass, thus limiting the food for guinea fowl.

The Branch decided to pay for work to mark the trails again, and will seek the involvement of scientists to report on the condition of the forest.  There is ongoing alien clearing work, funded by Tongaat-Huletts, and care was being taken to manage this so as not to create too much cleared area.
The forest is a biodiversity hotspot, with well over 100 species of indigenous trees, some of which are rare.  Occasional walks are arranged through the forest with guides based at Breakers Hotel.

A walk through the Hawaan, organised by the Durban Branch

Education a key area for WESSA’s work

The Durban Branch of WESSA is taking the lead in education, and has decided to use its funds to focus in particular on developing young environmental activists.  At its AGM the Branch decided to extend its recent youth leadership course.  After the meeting, Crispin Hemson, branch chairperson, set up a short internship programme for five youth leaders.  Over a three week period they are visiting areas of environmental importance, and each intern will develop a project to put to work what they have learnt.
Interns working on alien clearing next to Pigeon Valley in Glenwood: Mfanafuthi Shinga, Nobuhle Kakhe, Kizito Takawira, Mfanelo Ntombela and Sbo Mkhize.
‘In this project we are focusing on the links between the physical environment and the social issues at stake.  Our approach is to focus strongly on the people we are working with, and to ensure that the relationships that develop around environmental work are formed on the basis of ubuntu and nonviolence,’ said Crispin Hemson, who is also the Director of the International Centre of Nonviolence. ‘This may sound idealistic, but in reality many projects fail because of in-fighting and competition, and there are specific things we can do to form a different basis for work.  And linking technology with people is an important element requiring the full involvement of local people.’

One of the areas visited has been Ntuzuma, where the interns are linking with the Ntuzuma Primary Co-op, led by Paulos Gwala.  This group is organising the development of land around streams for vegetable gardening, with indigenous trees and shrubs to protect the stream and steep slopes.  At present some of the local streams are so polluted that the water cannot be used to water the plants, so there is a major educational task to be done to ensure that the gardens are viable.

Sindiswa Zulu (left) and Paulos Gwala (right) show interns the challenges they face in developing an area in Ntuzuma.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

OUTDOOR AND ADVENTURE FAIR 43 Kloof Falls Road, Kloof, Durban | Sat 21st July – Sun 22nd July 2012


Free Entry and Secure Parking
Flyfishing ~ Archery ~ Kayaking ~ Mountain Biking ~ Custom Knives ~ Hiking ~ Leather Works ~ Ladies Wear ~ Jewellery ~ Bat/Owl Boxes ~ Birding & Photography Tours ~ Ceramics ~ Bee Farming ~ Indigenous Gardens ~ Hunting ~ Caravan & Boating ~ Jumping Castle ~ Refreshments & Bar & LOTS MORE…
43 Kloof Falls Road, Kloof, Durban
Sat 21st July – Sun 22nd July 2012
10am – 4pm
Come try your hand at fly casting and archery
Enquiries – info@ufudu.co.za
Ben – 082 802 1677

D'MOSS walk Sunday 22 July ninth walk on the Sea View D’MOSS trails

D’MOSS walk Sunday 22 july 2012

On Sunday 22 July we meet at Umbilo Park at 10 o’clock for our ninth walk on the Sea View  D’MOSS trails. The route will take us along the Umbilo River canal, up into the Carrington Heights D’MOSS area, back down to the river, under the M7, and along the river trail that skirts the Portuguese Club. This trail follows the bend in the river back towards the M7. The river flows under two bridges under the M7.

At the M7 we can scramble down the into the ankle deep river, cross to the other bank, and join the trail on the other side. I will bring a few lengths of rope to assist in moving up and down the river banks. We crossed the river this way on our June walk and it was not difficult. The canal bottom is flat concrete so some walkers removed their shoes and socks to wade through the water.

Or, to avoid wading through the river we can follow the path up the shoulder of the M7, walk across the bridge along the pavement, step over the armco, and down the shoulder to meet the waders on the other side of the river. It is a 50m walk along the M7 pavement and there is not too much traffic on a Sunday.

Once across the river we follow the trail through the forested area and make our way to the view site overlooking the bend in the river as it flows around the Portuguese Club. From there we do a loop through a heavily forested area below the Hillside Road ridge, back up to the view site and then along a more direct route back to the M7, through, (or over), the river and along the canal to Umbilo Park.

The “friends of the D’MOSS trail walkers” will be waiting for us at the park with mugs of hot tea or coffee, or juice, and biscuits. The ‘friends’ ask for a contribution of R5 to cover costs. Most of the walk is through shaded areas but hats and sun-block, and sturdy shoes are recommended. Your motorcars will be safe in the parking area next to the wood and iron building in Umbilo Park . The walk should take about two and a half hours.

Derek Nicholson
072 400 1216       031 465 4278