FoBCA Newsletter 2019 No. 7
It is the end of the year, and we are all doing our best to finish tasks, commitments and goals before we go on holiday. Christmas is around the corner, and I am sure you are also looking forward to a well-deserved break. Looking for the ideal Christmas gift?
Why not give someone our FoBCA Flower Guide as a Christmas present? This colour-coded light-weight booklet at R100 only, is handy not just when walking on the Coastal Dune Trail, but all over the Western Cape. It contains beautiful pictures of the fynbos species, while highlighting important characteristics of each plant. At the back of the book is a Quick Guide, so get your copy, look up what is flowering at this time of the year and go find it!
The booklets are available at the following outlets:
- Starke Ayres Sunningdale
- Stodels Milnerton
- Plants on 6th, Melkbosstrand.
Low flying aircraft along our beaches
The FoBCA and members of the public have in the past repeatedly observed and expressed concern about helicopters flying low over many areas of the Bloubergstrand/Melkbosstrand areas as well as inland over the Blaauwberg Reserve. This has been reported many times to the Civil Aviation Authority, and while the low flying behaviour over the inland section of the Reserve has ceased, it is still occurring along the beach and between the beach dunes, with the aircraft flying at high speed and extremely low level. The FoBCA regards this as extremely risky behaviour in view of the beaches and public facilities being very busy with locals and tourists either walking, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, kite surfing, fishing, boating, yachting and enjoying motorised paragliding. An aggravation is the thunderous bellowing sound of its engines, breaking noise levels. Not just humans are affected, but it is also a disturbance to the bird life along the coast.
The aviation lowest level is 500ft, and in public areas 1000ft. We estimate though that the helicopters fly as low as 100ft and very close to the shore break. With the busy holiday season looming, the FoBCA is very concerned that this irregular conduct might cause accidents and affect the tranquil beach atmosphere.
As most of you are aware, the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve was the location of the Battle of Blaauwberg that took place on 8 Jan 1806. Apart from the regular educational walks along the route the British marched that the FoBCA offers, we also commemorate this seminal event on an annual basis.
Please book Saturday morning of 18 January in your diary as the FoBCA would like to once again give due tribute to the men who fought in the Battle. Blaauwberg Farm, between Melkbos and the N7 will be the venue of the commemoration. There will be many interesting displays relating to the Battle as well as some other topical nature displays. A eulogy will be given to those who fought in the Battle. Dave Honour, our Battle expert, will also do a guided walk from the Farm up to Blaauwberg Hill and back (10kms).
We received the notification below from the City of Cape Town. The Spatial Development Plan is an important point in our City’s future, and we urge our members to read through the BaAR and provide comment.
The City is in the process of updating the spatial development frameworks (SDFs) for the eight planning districts with the latest information about the state of the population, their employment levels and income; the state of the urban and natural environment and heritage; state of development; the supply of and demand for housing; local economy; property market; and current services and infrastructure.
All of this information is included in a Baseline and Analysis Report (BaAR) for each district, inclusive of the challenges, needs and opportunities on a local planning level.
The BaAR documents will be available on the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za by 11 November 2019 and the public is requested to provide their comments by 31 January 2020.
The review of the district SDFs will be based on the BaARs and the inputs received for the respective districts. It is therefore crucial for community leaders and stakeholders in each district to participate in this process. It is also important for the City and residents to consider the current situation in each planning district before we embark on a review of proposals and guidelines of the respective district SDFs.
The district SDFs will be finalised during further rounds of public participation in 2020/2021. These will deal with the concepts and the final proposals.
Once approved by the City Council, the district SDFs will guide future decisions about developments, land uses, and interventions to create integrated and inclusive communities across Cape Town. Friends groups
There are many Friends groups across Cape Town and they are mostly, like ourselves with Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, focused on a Reserve. Why not take the time during the holiday season to visit some of those reserves with family and friends? Many are open to the public, and are very enjoyable to visit for a picnic, a stroll (some are even wheelchair friendly), mountain biking, etc. Amongst others:
- Tygerberg Hill between Welgemoed and Plattekloof (Friends of Tygerberg)
- Jack Muller park just off the N1 in Bellville (Friends of Jack Muller Park)
- Tokai Forest in the Southern Suburbs (Friends of Tokai Park)
- Rietvlei in Table View (Friends of Rietvlei)
- Bracken Nature Reserve near Brackenfell (Friends of Bracken Reserve)
- Rondebosch Common in Rondebosch (Friends of Rondebosch Common)
- Helderberg Nature Reserve (Friends of Helderberg).
There are many more of these selected well-preserved areas in Cape Town where groups of volunteers through Friends networks, work for the preservation of the natural environment.
These Friends groups all have facebook sites as well where, if you LIKE the page, you will be kept up to date of walks and talks on the Reserves. In conclusion....
From the FoBCA committee members, we'd like to extend our heartfelt wishes for a joyous and peaceful festive season, communing with nature and your loved ones. Be safe if you're traveling on our roads. See you again after the new year celebrations - may 2020 bring new opportunities and renewed dedication to realising your (conservation) goals!
Don't forget to 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.
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