Zandvlei Trust

Rehabilitation - Hacking (removing exotic invasive vegetation).

This is a working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Zandvlei Trust.


Since the GZENR (Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve) was proclaimed in October 2006, we have worked in the extended area beyond the "old" Reserve boundary.
The "old" nature reserve area was called the Wildwood Bird Sanctuary from the 1970's till 2000.
The Cape Bird Club has had a long history at Zandvlei, and monthly 'hacks' were initiated for the Cape Bird Club by Alan Morris the then Chairman, in 1978. Alan grew up in Muizenberg and knew the area well. Bill Rudings took over as leader in 1985 and subsequently Gavin Lawson in 1991.
Zandvlei Trust members have regularly cleared the invasive species from the Reserve area for more than 25 years.

The 'rehabilitation' - clearing of invasive plant species takes place every 2nd Saturday afternoon of the month at14h00 for 2015.

What to wear and bring with you
Wear old clothes with long pants, boots or comfortable old shoes. Hat, garden gloves and suitable outer wear for the weather conditions. If you have garden lopers or a small bow saw bring it along with you. The instructions and training information required will be given to you, before and during the afternoon.

Contact Gavin Lawson  or  021 705 5224, for more information. Come and help us and you may learn much and see the benefit of the results of the work we do.

The idea is to remove these invasive species, to promote the biodiversity of all the living species for these habitats including insects, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds etc, which make up or are part of these habitats and ecosystems. The remaining natural vegetation areas within the City are under extreme pressure for development. These areas need to have linking corridors of local indigenous vegetation to remain viable for the free movement of the birds, insects, mammals, amphibians and the distribution of wind dispersed seed. The City of Cape Town has signed international treaties and has to conform to the National requirement to conserve at least 10% of it vegetation types. We know that the Fynbos Kingdom is the smallest biome, and has the largest plant species numbers per square metre, in places, on the planet. 
Is this not an important reason to help conserve these remaining areas, not only for us, but all the potential visitors to the Western Cape? In so doing promoting tourism to the Western Cape. Our group helps the City staff to try and achieve this goal.

The invasive vegetation often dominates areas where it grows, and tends to suppress the indigenous plants. These exotic plants grow very quickly, removing large amounts of water from the soil and they also create a shade covering canopy in the process. This prevents the sunlight reaching the ground, where the low growing ground covers, bulbs and seedlings struggle to grow in the shade. The exotic plants can and some do alter the soil characteristic by adding nitrogen to it. The fynbos vegetation usually grows in nitrogen poor soils. Another reason these invasive plants tend to dominate, is that their host insects and parasites are not present.

The main species we remove are Port Jackson, Rooikrans, Long leaf Acacia, Manatoka, Brazilian Pepper, Lantana, Cestrum, Pampas, Australian Myrtle (on the mountain), Spanish Broom, Pattersons Curse, Wild Mustard, Prickly Pear and others. A number of these species are garden escapees into the Reserve areas. We work an area to remove the large trees and shrubs to open up an area. Then at a later stage we have to revisit or follow-up in the same area, to remove the new seedlings, which were part of the seed bank deposited by the trees. Many invasive seeds are also bird dispersed.


Read the content.

Produced by
the City of Cape Town in collaboration with the Sand River Catchment Forum.


See the latest target species along the Peninsula.


City of Cape Town
invasive species; a threat to our heritage.


See this article published in the Constantia Bulletin 28 May 2015 about Madeira Vine taking over and who to notify.



August 2016.

Katrien and Brigitte clearing Cape Honey Suckle creeper a garden escapee which has become
invasive in the Reserve.

See more .....    updated 14/08/2016.


July 2016.

A magnificent Milkwood tree on the site we are working. Almost a classical bonzai display.

 See what we did.....  


June 2016.

Robin and Bary clearing the drainage swale besides the Old Boyes Drive. This is part of the
Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

See what we did..... 


May 2016.

We are back at the Old Boyes Drive site. The sisal plants have multiplied
in our absence.

See what we did.....


April 2016.

Anastasia and Candice, volunteers working on Brazillian Pepper tree stumps.

See what we did.....


March 2016.

Barry with a stem of a lantana creeper he has pulled out of the swale area alongside the railway line.

See what we did .....


February 2016.

A rain shower moving in behind us while on our way to the area we are working.

See what we did ....  


January 2016.


Robin, Sue, Bert and Barry exploring a section of the Reserve.

See what we did. 



2015. 2014. 2013. 2012. 2011. 2010. 2009. 2008. 2007.

Contact Gavin Lawson  on  021 705 5224.


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