FoBCA Newsletter 2019 No. 6

Spring has sprung and the veld around us is abundant with flowers. This is evident right on our doorstep in the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. Please take time during the day to walk the Coastal Dune Trail starting at Eerste Steen, using our handy Flower Guide that is for sale at Eerste Steen (or at selected nurseries in Table View) – you will not be disappointed. As Walt Whitman wrote: ‘After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.‘

Heritage Day celebration 

The FoBCA is pleased to announce that Willem Hutten will be giving a talk on Heritage Day (Tue 24 Sep). Willem has completed his Masters degree on the Battle of Blaauwberg, and will give a detailed perspective of his findings. Those who have had a preview of his talk and his Masters document, were impressed with the content - the maps with different views of the Battle formation, the organisation of the archeological diggings, and the impressive number of artefacts found. Willem’s research has added extensively to the knowledge base of the Battle of Blaauwberg, and you should find the talk fascinating. 

Being Braai Day, what would be more fitting than having a Braai at Eerste Steen after the talk, with the sound of crashing waves in the background and the Spring flowers around you? Bring the whole family (if family members are not interested in the talk, they can walk the Coastal Dune Trail)!

Date: Tuesday 24 Sep 2019
Time: 10am
Venue: Eerste Steen cabin (please remember your FoBCA membership card, as members enter for free).

Battle Up Blaauwberg Trail Run

It is the time of year again when the Reserve hosts the very popular Battle Up Blaauwberg Trail Run. This year has an exciting change in the race - the distance of the long route has increased from 16 km to 21 km and now includes the historical Battle of Blaauwberg Battlefield as part of the route. The Start will again be at Table Bay Mall, as it was such a convenient venue last year. Please let all of your running friends know about the event! There is a shorter route of 12 km as well. The City of Cape Town has big plans for trail runs in various Reserves in Cape Town, and the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, with its long-standing Battle Up Blaauwberg Run, has been a case in point on how successful these runs can be.
Online Entries : https://entries.trailfun.co.za/events/48622-battle-up-blaauwberg-hill or https://entries.trailfun.co.za.
Start 21 km - 07h30. Start 12 km - 07h45
Cost 21km - R240 (Early bird price of R180). Cost 12km R210 (Early bird price of R150)

pic01

WESSA Big Friends Group (BFG) event on Saturday 7 September 2019 

Many members have attended these events in the past, including the last BFG event that the FoBCA co-hosted, and this September’s event should again be very interesting.

Please click here to view the invitation email with all the details and the programme for the day in your browser. RSVP by Wed 4 Sep. International Coastal Clean-Up Day

Meet at Eerste Steen (on Otto du Plessis Rd, between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand) on Sat 7 Sep 2019 at 9am to help us keep our beautiful coastline clean.

Gloves and bags will be supplied, but it will help if you can bring your own gloves. Other suggestions: Bring along braai tongs – makes picking up less back-breaking. If you have heavy duty plastic bags, for example those in which you buy compost, stone, manure – bring them along too as they’re much stronger than those supplied, and it's a great way to re-use them. 

Rope in your neighbours and family members – this is a wonderful way to meet others in the area, and to teach kids about civic participation and caring.

Further details on Facebook events page International Coastal Clean-Up Day.

Green Coast initiative 

As you know the beach area from Eerste Steen to Melkbosstrand was the first stretch of coastline in South Africa awarded the Green Coast flag – a partnership between WESSA, City of Cape Town and the FoBCA. Since then, there have been many developments in the background, and we should soon be able to share much more tangible proof thereof. The First Blouberg Sea Scouts have for instance taken on responsibility for a section of the Reserve; there is an engineering team hard at work in designing a work of art which will focus attention on litter on beaches (any of our members have structural engineering backgrounds who can help?), and there is a surfing competition planned for October. Watch this space!

pic02

Forthcoming FoBCA events

  • Sat 31 Aug 2019 - Two Hills Walk in the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. To participate in the walk, contact Stephanie Muller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or SMS 083 679 4642
  • Sat 7 Sep 2019 - Botanical Walk along the Coastal Trail starting at Eerste Steen 9am. Please SMS Petra on 079 776 3701 for more details
  • Sat 7 Sep 2019 - WESSA Big Friends Group
  • Sat 21 Sep 2019 - International Coastal Clean-Up Day
  • Sat 24 Sep 2019 - Heritage Day presentation by Willem Hutten on The Battle of Blaauwberg and Braai Day braai at Eerste Steen
  • Sat 28 Sep 2019 - Battle Up Blaauwberg Trail Run. See above and go to Facebook events page for more details
  • Sat 5 Oct 2019 - Botanical Walk

 The calendar of events is always available on the Home page of our website, as well as on our Facebook page.

What to see now in Blaauwberg Nature Reserve....

How can this beautiful flower be called a Pig’s ear? 

Arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) are found in abundance from July until spring time.

The white “flower” is actually a modified leaf (bract) that curls round the stem to form a cone. In the centre the large yellow spike hosts the tiny flowers of this plant. Next time when you see this plant, stop to examine this spike: at the bottom are the male parts (anthers that carry the pollen), and the top parts, clearly different, are little stigmas. An insect entering the “flower” will brush up against the pollen and rub it off on the stigmas on the way out. Under a magnifying glass or microscope this becomes a reality.

Arums appear in clumps because they multiply by means of an underground stem or rhizome which grows tubers or thickened roots.

The plant is toxic to animals and is regarded as a pest in New Zealand and Western Australia. In Eastern Europe people pay a fortune for a single bloom. 

Once in a while one might find an endangered frog (Hyperolius horstocki) hiding in the lily. These frogs are not dependant on the plant, but happen to live in the wetlands. They are creamy brown with orange feet. If you do happen to find one, don’t touch it, but take a picture and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photograph 1: Lee Jones (iNaturalist) with permission 
Photograph 2: Jeremy Gilmore (iNaturalist) with permission

pic04pic04

Flower Guide!!

Flower Guide

You definitely NEED the FoBCA Flower Guide at this time of the year. This pocket guide is so handy, and flowers are quick and easy to find with its colour-coded search facility. It is available at Starke Ayres Garden Centre (please ask at the information counter), at Plants on 6th Nursery, Melkbosstrand and at Eerste Steen for purchase at still only R100 each.

Bring your copy with you when you join the FoBCA CREW team on the Coastal Trail Botanical Walks the first Saturday of every month. See the events calendar for details.

Blaauwberg Nature Reserve Quarterly Report

As a Friends group focussed on BBNR you'd most likely want to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the Reserve. The latest BBNR quarterly report is now available on our website. It always makes for interesting reading, for example, about the ‘proposed nomination of the City of Cape Town’s Blaauwberg Nature Reserve as a Provincial Heritage Site in terms of section 27 of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999).’ Follow this link to the report.

Images of Table Bay

Talking of interesting reading, a new book by Hans Kilian and Steffie Romer has just been printed showcasing the beauty of the shores around Cape Town and includes our own Blaauwberg Hill with pictures by Dave Honour. A short write-up of the events of 8th January 1806 is included with the photos. A copy has been donated to the Friends which will be kept at Eerste Steen for members to read and enjoy.

This coffee table book has been offered to the FoBCA members for the cost price of R450.00 (normal retail price R550.00) and is available through Dave, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FoBCA committee member vacancy

There would not be a Friends of BCA if it wasn't for you. However, a committee is needed to drive the various aspects of the group. This is made up of normal people with normal working lives, who give up some of their after-hours time.


There are many areas where members can get involved, but we are urgently appealing to you, as the position of Secretary has yet to be filled. Please consider giving your time to a worthy cause - your contribution to nature, society and the environment will be invaluable - by offering to become Secretary. 

It will require only about 6-8 hours of your time per month to attend committee meetings, take minutes, type up using your MS Word skills and distribute via email to other committee members. Meetings are held once a month in the evenings in Table View. Maybe you know of the perfect person to fit the role - they do not need to be a member of the FoBCA. 

Please contact the chairperson Stephanie Muller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 083 679 4642 if you are interested.

In conclusion....

Please continue to spread the word about the FoBCA and its purpose. If anyone shows an interest in joining the FoBCA, you can always send them this brochure, which explains all the benefits of being a Friend, and the value of their contribution to nature conservation and preservation when they become a member.

Kind regards
Jackie Potgieter
FoBCA Membership Communication

Dont worry when you forget the syntax of an HTML element, like and iframe, a link, a table, an image or anything else. Visit HTML CheatSheet and generate the code you need.