- Hillcrest Conservancy 2019 Annual General Meeting: Provisional date Friday 26 July 2019. Notices will be sent closer to the time confirming details. All interested residents are cordially invited to attend.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: HILLCREST CONSERVANCY ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 3 August 2018
I have pleasure in presenting my report for the year July 2017 to June 2018, highlighting some of our activities during the year.
Membership: We presently have 85 paid up supporters and 370 on our mailing list. This provides us with critical volunteers for events where we need support on an ad hoc basis.
Events and Activities:
The braai stands in Springside Nature Reserve picnic site were completed and are in regular use.
Frog evening: Held at the pond area at the top of the Reserve where families had the opportunity to look for frogs in the dark. Nick Evans did an excellent presentation on the various types of frogs in the area. More activities involving the youth are very necessary.
Monthly Birding walks: These prove to be popular and record numbers now attend. New species are regularly identified with the unique combination of various biomes in Springside Nature Reserve responsible for these sightings. We have been blessed to have Derek Spencer as part of our team
I&AP awareness training programmes: Continued during the year with the help of presenter Ian Pattrick, we now undertake some practical control work in the Nature Reserve as part of the training course. The importance of the training and up-skilling of gardeners is imperative to the success of conservation and we have excelled this year, with approx. 150 candidates trained.
We have successfully tackled on-going sections of road verges where IAP’s are present, and this has made a difference to the area. Our team consisting of Ian, Barry, Thokozani and myself; have been very active. We meet every Wednesday and enjoy the companionship as well as the exercise. Local resident gardeners combine with our team to make our efforts more effective.
Our annual Indigenous Wildflower weekend included an insect presentation by Dr Marlies Craig for children and the flower and insect hunt proved popular.
Wally Menne opened his indigenous garden adjoining Springside Nature Reserve to the visitors and BotSoc had an information and plant table at the Kingfisher Centre.
In general, the weekend was spent interacting with families visiting Springside Nature Reserve.
Springside Nature Reserve:
From small beginnings in the 1980’s, the Reserve has continued to grow in strength; with ever increasing members of the public using the facility. The reserve is to be used as a model for eThekwini, especially as it is an important interface between rapid urbanization and the protection of bio-diversity. The reserve was very recently proclaimed as a protected area and will be gazetted within weeks.
Springside Nature Reserve is regularly used for school outings, including Hillcrest Rotary Club Boot Camp programmes.
The dedicated work of Jabulani Khoza and his eThekwini Municipality crew upholding the standard of this Reserve is greatly appreciated, and we are most grateful for this.
Hillcrest Conservancy Projects:
The acquisition of the Duckitt pond area at the top end of Springside is still on-going as this is a protected area for the Kloof frog – a total of 28 have been sighted there.
The work on “Neglected Park” at 64A Springside Road is still on-going with us handling the IA&P’s and eThekwini Municipality cutting the grass.
Our work with other Conservancies within our Zone, as well as within eThekwini Conservancies Forum, is on-going. This Forum provides an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas – I am amazed at the number of protected areas around Durban.
We assisted Ron Legg and Nico Paulsen in the establishment of Belvedere Conservancy which is in the process of being registered. Ron Legg has celebrated 22 years of unbroken service to establishing this reserve.
The large dangerous gum trees along Inanda Road were finally removed this year after 10 years of appeals. Thanks to Hillcrest Rotary, Dieters Nursery and Lindsay Gray, indigenous trees are being planted.
Request for Sub-Committee Members: We always have a need for new members for the various sub-committees and I am pleased to announce that Lindsay Gray has agreed to join us.
In conclusion, I pay tribute to our small but effective management team, who have worked tirelessly for Springside and Hillcrest Conservancy, and provided me with fantastic support.
Thanks to Sue, Luci, Roger, Ann, Ian, Carolyn, Maggie, Gill, Lindsay, Barry and Richard, for their fantastic support during the year. I would also like to thank Beryl, who continues to assist by running the mail shots and other admin activities from Howick; and for this we are most grateful.
Thank you – George Victor, 3 August 2018