Hillcrest Conservancy encompasses the area from Acutts Drive in the north and the M13 in the south, the ridge above West Riding, Kassier Road on the west and Ashley Drive on the east, including Springside Nature Reserve, an ecologically critical green lung which runs through Hillcrest Park.
Springside Nature Reserve, the flagship of Hillcrest Conservancy, was proclaimed in 1948 and encompasses 20ha of rich biodiversity: forest, grassland and wetland.
The forested areas provide shelter, nest sites and food for many bird species; the grassland nurtures a multitude of indigenous wildflowers; and the natural wetland, among the few remaining in KZN, filters the stream, conserves water in droughts and reduces flood damage, whilst sustaining a vital wildlife habitat.
The nature reserve was seldom used until the 1980′s when a group of Hillcrest residents, mainly from Rotary and Lions Clubs, Scout Group, Hillcrest Primary and High Schools and the Wildlife Society formed a Steering Committee to manage the Reserve, backed by the Hillcrest Town Board. The current Hillcrest Conservancy voluntary committee, together with eThekwini Department of Natural Resources, continues to ensure the preservation of this valuable natural asset for all to enjoy.
Apart from the natural beauty of the Reserve itself, Springside Nature Reserve offers:
- Shady picnic area with braai stands;
- Resource Centre for environmental activities, including Meetings, Training and Presentations;
- Easy walks on well maintained and signposted trails;
- Regular monthly guided walks with knowledgeable leaders;
- Annual Wildflower weekend;
- All events are advertised by e-mail and in the local press
Hillcrest Conservancy motto: “To observe and become involved with all environmental issues in order to meaningfully contribute to good conservation practice in co-operation with any relevant authorities.”
- Assist eThekwini in the management and improvement of Springside Nature Reserve.
- Organise environmental walks, talks, outings and events in Springside Nature Reserve Alien & Invasive Plants and Environmental training
- Assist other groups
- Work parties tackling A&IP’s in and around Hillcrest
- The Committee also arranges activities and events to supplement the limited funds available from the eThekwini Department of Natural Resources.