Zandvlei Trust 

Local volunteers clearing invasive exotic vegetation in the Westlake Wetlands. 
December 2002 December 2003.

05/12/2003 a calamity opposite the Lakeside Fire Station!!

Una and Dennis with Blake were clearing invasive plants just below the rocky slope opposite the Lakeside Fire Station when Dennis disturbed a bees nest. He became the focus of the bees attention and he shouted for help as he was attacked, but could not get away and collapsed after being stung hundreds of times all over his chest, arms and face. Una told Blake to call the fire station personnel to come and help. He was lucky to get only a few stings. Una was stung all over her neck and head when she tried to help Dennis, but had to retreat to the Fire Station.
The Fire Officers came to rescue as best they could and helped cover Dennis with their thick coats. A fire truck was brought across the road and the bees were hosed off with water. An ambulance and the police were called. Both Una and Dennis were taken to the Constantia Clinic where Dennis is recuperating. Una was discharged the same morning. The area was cordoned off by the police and a bee keeper spent the day getting the hive into a box.

20/12/2003 Dennis and Una have thankfully recovered from this very unpleasant experience.


Before (photographed December 2002)

The forrest of Port Jackson trees in the foreground.

After (photographed December 2003)

The shrubs in the foreground are indiginous Bitou bushes with yellow flowers.

The Norfolk Park section has been completed and what a difference. The dark green tree line is gone and the grasses are back. Una and Dennis helped Charles finish this section while Gavin was away. This area cleared is about 2 hectacres.

Charles Oertel and Gavin Lawson are clearing invasive exotic Port Jackson ( Acacia salinga ) trees from the Wetlands opposite Lake Road, Norfolk Park to assist the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve management.

This also frees up the Nature Reserve staff to do other necessary tasks.
The regrowth was becoming a social liability, as undesirable elements were hiding stolen goods in the small dense forest of trees.
Local neighbourhood security personnel crept up on us one morning to check what we were doing.

We have seen the Grysbok spoor near where we are working. The Helmeted Guineafowl and Cape Francolin have chicks with them at this time of the year. The Black shouldered Kites are hunting for mice in the grass. Spurwing Geese often fly overhead. We have often seen the African Fish Eagles over head. We have seen Cape Dwarf Chameleons while working
and many insects of various descriptions.
                                                                 Charles sawing down a sapling.

Una, Dennis and Blake.                                      Blake sawing, Dennis with Keegan applying the "juice".

Una Hartley, Dennis Mortimer and his grandsons Blake and Keegan Pengelly are working as volunteers in the Westlake Wetlands along the Main Road at Lakeside, also clearing the invasive Port Jackson and other invasive exotic plants ie; Black Wattle, Cestrum, Sesbania, Brazilian pepper tree etc. 
They have done an excellent job, especially the boys giving up their time in school holidays to do some community work.

We start early in the morning before it becomes too hot and work for about 2 hours.

July 2003
Una and Dennis have cleared an enormous sections hidden by the reeds. They have created rabbit warren like pathways in the reeds clearing Lantana, Cestrum and various other species. They also helped Charles finish clearing the forrests at Lake Road, Norfolk Park. 

Una in the reeds below the                       Purple Galinule in Westlake Wetlands
Main Road, Lakeside.                              photographed by Rob Lith.

If you live nearby come and help us. 

Gavin Lawson    (021) 705 5224
Charles Oertel   (021) 701 8231
Una Hartley       (021) 788 5854


These books explain what and how the different catagories have been defined.

Click for more Legislation information about Invasive Alien Vegetation. 

A new publication The Alien Clearing Handbook for the Western Cape by Jeremy Croudace is available from; 
Kirstenbosch     (021) 762 1621
WESSA (Tokai)  (021) 701 1397.


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