World’s View residents starting a conservancy

2010-10-15 00:00

A GROUP of residents at World’s View have started the steps required for their area to become a conservancy. It will be registered with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife under the KwaZulu-Natal Conservancies Association.

World’s View is a diverse area of mist-belt grassland and relict indigenous forest, much of which is now taken over by commercial forest planted adjoining original water courses, resulting in the obstruction of streams. The area is rich in bird life and rare species such as Buff-spotted Flufftail, Narina Trogon, and Chorister Robin have been spotted here. Crowned Eagles frequently display and Long Crested Eagles are resident. Many species of buck inhabit the forest, as do porcupine, bush pig, caracal and genet. However, these are rapidly dwindling, giving rise to concerns about the sustainability of wildlife in the area as well as its flora.

The historical site at World’s View with its magnificent views over Pietermaritzburg also shows part of the original wagon trail route taken by the Voortrekkers and is part of South Africa’s heritage.

Unfortunately, this magnificent viewpoint has become overgrown and has been vandalised. A popular picnic site and tourist stopoff point, this area deserves to be preserved. At the World’s View turn-off on Old Howick Road is the site of what was a hostelry, Ketelfontein, built in 1862. Here weary travellers and horses alike spent their first night on the long trek up the steep dusty track from Pietermaritzburg to the gold fields.

Some concerns of the conservancy are illegal dumping of rubbish in the forest, use of forest tracks by motorbikes and invasive alien vegetation. Among the aims of the World’s View Conservancy are upgrading the view site, monitoring the wildlife in the forest, cleaning up litter in the forest, cleaning verges, and focusing on recycling, as well as introducing an ongoing information programme.

Meetings of interested residents have been held during the past months and a committee has recently been elected. A constitution has been tabled for comment and the way forward is becoming clearer. At this stage efforts are under way to define the area encompassed by the conservancy. This will incorporate the area between World’s View Road, including all houses within World’s View suburb itself, and Celtis Road, including houses on the southern side of Celtis Road and all homes on either side of Old Howick Road and turn-offs as far as Celtis Road.

A public meeting will be held giving residents an opportunity to meet their neighbours and show their concern for their environment on October 26 at 7 pm in the Girl Guides’ Hall, World’s View Road. Membership of the World’s View Conservancy is R100 per person per annum. On the following Sunday, October 31, residents are invited to participate in a World’s View cleanup, commencing at 10 am at the corner of Old Howick and World’s View roads, and proceeding along to the picnic area at World’s View where a bring-and-braai will be held.

Please call chairperson Hugh Temple at 033 343 1286, or the secretary, Howard Richardson, at 033 343 2884, for more information.

WHAT IS A CONSERVANCY?

 

A CONSERVANCY is the voluntary, co-operative, environmental management of an area by its owners, communities and user groups, which has been registered with the local provincial conservation authority.

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