A NUMBER of enthusiastic members of the Seven Oaks community attended a meeting recently in an effort to resurrect the conservancy in that area, possibly as an additional zone to the successful Greytown Conservancy, which was established just over 30 years ago.George Nefdt welcomed all present and outlined the possible way forward for the Seven Oaks Conservancy.Charlie McGillavray, chairman of the successful Karkloof Conservancy, spoke with great passion about the activities of the Karkloof Conservancy and showed an inspiring film of a walk that was undertaken along the entire length of the Karkloof River, recording the health of the river and its banks, from its source to its confluence with the Umgeni River. McGillavray emphasised the importance of the involvement of schools in conservancy activities that focus should be on the cause, at all times, namely conservation.The Umvoti Vlei lies at the heart of the renewed efforts to establish interest in conservation in the Seven Oaks and Greytown areas — the Vlei is unique and can possibly be compared to the well-known wetlands in the East Griqualand area, both of which provide important habitats for a vast number of flora and fauna, and, is a bird watcher's paradise.Many years ago the bird hide at the Umvoti Vlei burnt down, and one of the key projects identified by the Seven Oaks group, is to rebuild and reposition the bird hide and make it an eco-tourism attraction for the area.Kevin Cockburn spoke about the ancient geology which led to the Umvoti Vlei being where it is. He illustrated his interesting presentation with maps and photographs of some bird species which rely on the vlei for their survival.The formalities were appropriately concluded with the handing-over of the certificate of recognition from the Crane Foundation to George Nefdt. Nefdt has been instrumental in spreading the message of conservation in the Seven Oaks area, and has arranged a number of meetings with stake holders to get the conservancy up and running again. George's efforts are much appreciated by the community and the next step will be to formalise some of the good ideas and the positive energy into concrete action.Thanks go to Pannar, who provided refreshments for the meeting, and André and Gill Liddemore who hosted the evening at the Seven Oaks Cavern.