FoBCA Newsletter 2022 No. 2
It seems people have been desperate to get out and avail themselves of the natural heritage our city has to offer and we have been fortunate enough to be able to organize and participate in some enjoyable and successful events. We have also had some changes to our committee. More about this below. We continue to be dedicated to the cause of sharing our historical and natural heritage with the public at large and in so doing, raise awareness of the richness of our past and the necessity to become more active in preserving our present for future generations.
One of our key committee members, Dave Honour, whom you know as one of our Battle of Blaauwberg experts, has recently relocated back to the UK with his wife Karen. Dave is however not completely lost to us, as his work may bring him quite frequently to South Africa and he remains a loyal FoBCA member. At this stage, we want to thank Dave for all the hard work he has put in over the past years with various talks, presentations, walks and hikes. He has also given many presentations on unique elements of the Battle. May we see you again soon, Dave, May you continue share your knowledge of this battle with the British, making them aware of its importance to their own kingdom's history. Hopefully this will encourage people to come and appreciate the Battlefield when they visit Cape Town, by joining us on our walks!
Friends of BCA AGM – Sat 25 June 2022
Please diarise the Saturday morning 25 June 2022, at 09h30 for 10h00 for the FoBCA AGM. It will be a physical 'face-to-face' AGM for the first time in a long time. We are all looking forward to seeing our longstanding members again, and also meeting new members. Eerste Steen, with its beautiful sea view, is always a pleasant venue for meetings.
Once we have quickly dealt with the usual official proceedings, you can look forward to a special guest speaker: Naas Terblanche. Naas spent his school years in Cape Town and his fondest memories of that time involve the rich bird and animal life inhabiting the Liesbeeck river and adjacent wetlands. He obtained an MSc in animal husbandry at Stellenbosch University and has worked in research and in the feed milling industry. He later farmed with flowers and made wine on a small farm in Stanford, His interest in frogs was stimulated by the many frog calls on his farm which led him to acquiring his vast knowledge on the subject. Rest assured you will be entertained by his talk on these fascinating and vocal creatures. There will be plenty of croaking, calling and clicking - sound being key to identifying frogs and studying their behaviour.
African Bull Frog
(Renewals: Please feel free to do your FoBCA membership renewal at the AGM.) Alien Hacking
We have often reported on the successes that our alien hacking team has had in helping the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve staff in getting rid of alien vegetation over the years. An important part of this, is maintaining the cleared areas to make sure those small emerging Port Jackson plants to not take over again!
FoBCA has often appealed for help for the team to ensure its continuation over the years, with limited success. We have been made aware that this is because people are not able to join the team on their usual Tuesday mornings, due to their normal work commitments.
If you look at our FoBCA membership brochure (click here), we list one of the benefits as ‘you can become the eyes and ears that warn the authorities of activities or threats to nature and heritage in our area.’ We would like to reiterate the importance of this benefit, urge members to keep a watchful eye on all that happens around them, and become INVOLVED. As with any city in the world, there are many developments taking place that scream against good practice - eye-sores that clearly go against sensible development norms by affecting nature, rivers and people’s normal day-to-day life.
FoBCA often comments and objects to planned local developments. We report back on these at our AGM. We are also the conservation body commenting on developments that will affect heritage sites in a very wide area - keep in mind any house older than 60 years (and many houses are!) necessitates comment from a heritage point of view before any alterations/changes can be done to it. Input from you the public would help immensely! Your commentary can be channeled through many organisations: Friends of BCA of course, Table View Action Forum, Heritage Western Cape, rate payers’ associations, residents’ associations and many more. Also keep an eye on the City of Cape Town website where they post many proposals, strategic plans, and policies that may affect you, stating due dates by which the public is expected to respond.
Please get involved, join your local action forums, read posted notices that call for comment and objections, and make sure that our environment remains a pleasant place in which to live.
Let’s make a difference. Don’t assume ‘someone will do something’ – let that someone be YOU! Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve (WANR)
The WANR (also known as the ‘Atlantis dunes’) held their popular craft market again on 14 and 15 May. They invited the public to hike on one of the recently launched trails in the Reserve, as well as celebrate the official opening of their cannon display (erected end of 2021) with cannon fire. One of the cannons that formed part of the Dutch Call-up Cannon Signal System around the 1800’s, was situated on Kanonkop, a conservation area within WANR. The cannon firing was performed by the Nitida Cannon Station with FoBCA given the opportunity to fire one shot, having sponsored the gunpowder for two of the shots fired during the launch. To top the celebrations, the many guests were treated to a sabrage performance – fortunately the FoBCA chairman was successful with her first saber slide!
We can really recommend a visit to this Reserve. There are 2 short hiking routes, which go through the fynbos and lead to the pristine white dunes, with the sea in the distance. It is also a very popular quadbike venue.
Back: Moosa Raise (Ward 32 Councillor), Christiana Groenewoud (FoBCA), Jürg Zimmermann (FoBCA and Nitida Cannon Station),
Stephanie Muller (FoBCA), Jacques Kuyler (WANR Reserve manager), Jacques van der Merwe (WANR)
Front: Nick Kellerman (Nitida Cannon Station), Morne Farmer (WANR)
WHAT IS IN THE VELD NOW
Petra Broddle and Kay Loubser, your volunteer botanical guides, will share with you their knowledge of the Dune Strandveld and the unique landscape on a guided walk along the Coastal Dune Hiking Trail this Saturday (tomorrow!) 4th June 2022.
We have just left the quietest time in the veld and with the first winter rains everything is starting to stir.
Deep pink Lachenalia punctata heralds the approaching winter season in the veld.
This winter-flowering bulb is know in Afrikaans as the sandviooltjie, translated directly as the sand violin.
Along the way fragrant Osteospermum moniliferum has also started to flower.
Commonly known by its Afrikaans name bietou, it is one of many plant names derived from original Khoisan names.
At first the ground may be damp with dew, but this is the perfect for exploring the open capsules of vygie species. The astonishing capsule arrangements of the different plants help us to identify species.
Above all, it's a morning of escape into the veld so please join us.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
|Sat, 4 Jun 2022||Botanical Walk|
|09:00 ~ 12:30 led by our volunteer CREW team|
|Sat, 11 Jun 2022||Two Hills Walk|
|08:00 - 12:30 led by Stephanie Muller. Booking essential|
|Sat, 25 Jun 2022||FoBCA AGM ( see above for details)|
|09:30 at the Education Centre Cabin, Eerste Steen. Booking essential|
|Sat, 2 Jul 2022||Botanical Walk|
|09:00 ~ 12:30 led by our volunteer CREW team|
|Sat, 30 Jul 2022||Two Hills Walk|
|08:00 - 12:30 leader to be confirmed. Booking essential|
Beach Clean-ups: The Calendar on the Home page of our website will keep you informed as to future beach clean-up dates when they are arranged.
Look out for us at markets in the area, Blaauwberg Nature Reserve and FoBCA might just have a stall there. Please pop in if you see us!