volunteers clearing invasive exotic
vegetation in the Westlake Wetlands.
December 2002 –
a calamity opposite the Lakeside Fire
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
Before – (photographed
The forrest of Port Jackson trees in the foreground.
After – (photographed
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
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
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.
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 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.
start early in the morning before it becomes too hot and work for about 2 hours.
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
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;
762 1621 and
WESSA (Tokai) (021) 701 1397.