On the map below, you will see three areas that have been earmarked for nature reserves. We are hoping park regulars will try to keep their dogs from these areas in the future. These "reserves" will only be cut once or twice per year, but other than that they will be left virtually untouched apart from the removal of alien plants and other necessary maintenance.
Wildlife Area 1
This is the largest area to be dedicated to wildlife. It is an area that becomes very marshy in the rainy season and seems to be a favourite area for herons and other birds to try to nest. Unfortunately they are always disturbed by either mowing or being chased by dogs.
Although there are a few trees in this area, it is mostly open grassland. We wish to keep most of the area just as it is, however on the side closest to the road we want plant a small forest where birds can retreat if hassled by dogs. We have made a start by planting 10 African Stinkwoods (Celtis africana) and 11 Sweet Thorns (Vachellia karroo). These tie in nicely with the existing trees just the other side of the Ullmann Park fence.
At the time of writing, much of this area was taken up by machinery and piles of pipes, sand and stone for the sewage expansion program that is being implemented. Once they have moved on, we will have a fair bit of work to get the area looking good again. Most of the work is happening right down by the river and they are working with us to keep damage to a minimum. The section that they are working on will be planted up with River Bushwillows (Combretum erythrophyllum) once they are finished (hopefully by February 2017)
Wildlife Area 2
This area was specifically chosen as there have been a number of sightings of Slender Mongoose on the rocky outcrop that will be incorporated. The longer term goal is to have a breeding colony of these marvellous little mammals in the area. A Leguaan (Nile Monitor Lizard) also frequents this area (see Nile Monitor on the Sandspruit).
We have removed most of the alien weeds and trees from this area and have planted 150 Large Wild Iris (Dietes grandiflora) to provide some quick shelter for animals. These will also provide a bountiful supply of pollen for bees and other insects in time.
Wildlife Area 3
This area was quite impenetrable for a long time due to the undergrowth being left unchecked (see Clearing Undergrowth) and the lack of a maintained path (see Sandspruit Walk). We have succeeded in getting people back here now and have persuaded most of the squatters to leave the area, which posed a security problem for many walkers.
There is still a large job to be done clearing alien invasive plants and replacing alien trees with indigenous varieties, but we are well underway.
Please help... This worthwhile community project needs your help to keep it alive. We cannot provide the labour, equipment and consumables without your assistance. Please help us where you can...