FoBCA Newsletter 2022 No. 3

We are in the midst of Spring! We are sure you must have made at least one journey to ‘go and see the flowers' and noticed the joyful spirit in nature at this time of the year - the vividness of colour, the abundance of insects and the crisp, cold air. There are various places in our own backyard where you can see the beautiful display – just a few minutes’ drive around the Blaauwberg area reveals carpets of flowers! We selected some poems which reflect the beauty of nature which you can read here.


(Article written by Roy Fuller-Gee, FoBCA)

  • In fact something very old, made in 1768 in England, an Armstrong/Frederick 9-Pounder Cannon!

Finally after 216 years there is a “sign”, of which there are none anywhere to be found in the Blaauwberg area, of an historic Battle occurred on 8th January 1806. 
This event changed the course of history in the Cape, South Africa and lead to future turmoil and colonisation in Africa.


A very big "Thank you!" to Koos Retief, Biodiversity Area Manager: Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, for organising the logistics team from Biodiversity Management Branch, Environmental Management Department, Spatial Planning & Environment Directorate, City of Cape Town. An invaluable asset will now be safe within the security of the Provincial Heritage Site to enhance the attraction and visibility for visitors to the area.


The first British Artillery piece to be seen at Battle of Blaauwberg since 8th January 1806


The 9-pounder is aiming at the defensive position of the Batavian position in the Blaauwberg Valley.

We wonder how many times this cannon will be photographed with this unique perspective?

Where did this cannon come from?

This cannon was donated by Ian Louis van Oordt to the Friends of the Blaauwberg Conservation Area (FoBCA) as a memorial to honour those that made the ultimate sacrifice on 08 January 1806.

May they rest in peace


Ian van Oordt obtained this cannon after it was removed from road works in central Cape Town in 2001. He restored this 9-pounder to firing condition in his private collection of Military history.

A separate thank you and tribute to Ian on his role in research and involvement since 2006 with the Battle of Blaauwberg is being compiled by the FoBCA, which we will feature in our next newsletter.
Ian van Oordt published his definitive book titled “The Battle for the Cape 1778 to 1806” in 2022.

Some of you might recall that there was a very successful Fynbos fair two years ago just before Covid. The Fynbos fair can eventually take place again on Sunday 9 October 2022 at Zandvlei (57 Promenade Rd), Muizenberg between 10 am - 4 pm. As you can see from the information below – it is packed with interesting topics, stalls and events.

The aim of the Fair is to promote fynbos conservation organisations and artisans, and to give fynbos people a chance to network in a completely social (non-conference) space. There will be about 15 conservation stands (WESSA, UCT Future Water, Freshwater Research Centre, FynbosLIFE, WLT, Ingcungcu, City, Friends, hacking groups, etc) and 20 artisans (ceramics, painting, honey, candles, fabric, food, drinks/mocktails, flower crowns etc).
Several talks will take place indoors:

  • Loubie Rusch – fynbos food
  • Stellenbosch University PhD student – fynbos medicine
  • Caitlin von Witt – fynbos restoration/FynbosLIFE
  • Jeremy Shelton – fynbos freshwater conservation
  • Patrick Dowling (Chairman of WESSA), and Helena Atkinson (CEO of WESSA): 'The importance of promoting conservation action in the fynbos Biome'.

There will also be a film screening of Ghosts of Table Mountain, the new film on the Table Mountain ghost frog – and Jeremy Shelton will introduce it.



One often notices people or organisations collecting various items (shells, kelp, nurdles etc) on our Blaauwberg beaches on an informal or formal basis, and wonders what or why it is being collected, whether is it legal, who is doing the collecting, etc.

Kelp collecting

The Dept of Coastal Management, City of Cape Town, recently gave a talk at the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve’s PAAC (Protected Areas Advisory Committee), which gave insight into Kelp collecting. The kelp collecting around the peninsulais done by a commercial kelp harvesting company with a permit issued by the National Dept of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) that allows them to harvest kelp from Saldanha to Blaauwberg. The permit has recently been renewed. 

The issue of kelp removal is not simple – there are arguments for and against it, especially in areas that are popular amongst the public. Attached is a brochure giving all the information about kelp collecting – you will notice that Small Bay is listed there, but ONLY Small Bay in our area. Any collection of kelp elsewhere on our area’s beaches is illegal. The Dept of Coastal Management of the City of Cape Town indicated that they are constantly in the process of highlighting the damage done by the removal of kelp to the government. They request information when kelp collecting occurs – a photo needs to be taken of culprits with a date and time stamp as well as geo-location. Send this information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call the Marine Law Enforcement Unit to report any suspicious or anti-social behaviour on 021 596 1999.

You can also read more about preserving our coast here.



During the regular monthly beach clean-ups, the staff of Blaauwberg Nature Reserve make sure they also record whether there are nurdles along the beach. You might also have noticed people on a formal organised basis, picking up sand, sifting it and then recording the nurdles left behind in the sieve. If you google ‘nurdles’ you can read many shocking articles about this toxic waste which highlights the urgency and importance of reducing and minimizing our use of plastic. 

Where do these nurdles come from – this slide says it all:


And what do these nurdles look like? They are small balls of plastic.












You can also always join the Alien hacking team on Tuesday mornings (contact Eddie Heimann to join at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

We thank Quickshade for fixing our FoBCA gazebo for free.