of the Bottom Road Sanctuary, Zeekoevlei
- 23 April 2008.
Part of the Bottom Road
residents at the unvieling.
board officially unvieled with the other residents.
The fynbos in this area was here long before we were. It is part of our cultural and natural heritage. The reeds helped shelter us and the
plants helped heal us. But now it is almost all gone, erased by a combination off urbanisation and neglect. Many areas of the Cape Flats
were named after the natural vegetation of the area - such as Blackheath, Grassy park, Heathfield, Heideveld, Lotus River - even though
little of the orginal fynbos remains. The Bottom Road Sanctuary seeks to change that by building community in this area - and hopefully
others - through restoring its natural heritage and opening the eyes of that community to the beauty of the fynbos that was originally
Calvin's home with guests signing
The magnificent view from his lounge window, overlooking
Zeekoevlei towards Muizenberg. See the rehabilitation work
in the foreground. The neighbours do not have boundary fences.
Meet a passionate, visionary and inspirational man
Calvin Cochrane who has championed the changing of a wasteland on the border of
his and his neighbours properties at the edge of Zeekoeivlei, into a paradise. It is a work in progress and expanding.
This iniative has worked because of his drive to make it succeed, together with
his neighbours and the partnerships that have been established along the way.
This is a working partnership with the
City of Cape Town, Working for Wetlands, the Zeekoevlei
Nature Reserve and the False Bay Ecology Park.
Where it started
In April 2005 a landmark meeting was held between the Working for Wetlands project he Zeekoevlei Nature Reserve and 6 Bottom Road
residents. The meeting was unanimous in its support for rehabilitating the shoreline of the vlei and recreating the natural floral and wildlife
habits that originally characterised the area.
The Working for Wetlands
team, The 'new' Last Road
Calvin & Tanya admiring the plants.
Vicky Wilman, Wendy Moses and
Linda Wagner with Zeekoevlei Nature
Reserve Manager Asieff Khan and
some of his staff.
Removing the aliens - and reviving the Fynbos
On 01 June 2005 the bulldozers arrived to remove the alien vegetation that had taken over the northern shoreline behind the Bottom Road
houses. This allowed us to create ponds and pathways and replant fynbos around them during the following months. By December after
five months, the ponds were looking natural and the fybos was bedding in with once endangered species like the Cape Flats Conebush,
Erica Verticilata and the Leucadendron floridum finding a foothold. Since then a total of 30,000 plants has been planted over a period of 2 1/2 years some of which make up a new section called the Last
Road Sanctuary. 10 months after work began, the fynbos was already flourishing colourfully and the shoreline was well on the road to
recovery. Today, when you visit us almost three years later, you will see that the Sanctuary is completely established and a wonder to
Truly a living landscape example of fynbos for all to enjoy, we hope forever.
The Zeekoevlei Eco-Green Park established in October 2007. It has 1500 fynbos plants on the perimeters with a boma braai area,
sandpit and central grass area. It is also home to 25 indigenous trees. The idea is to get adults and the general community even more
involved in the park areas where they live.
Jackson. Ryan explaing some of what has been achieved. Promoting
biodiversity of species.
Dr Tanya Abrahamse
(CEO of SANBI - South African National Botanical Institute) was the keynote speaker who addressed about 80 City
officials, friends, neighbours, family and visitors at the opening.
Brian Issacs and Linda
Calvin poses the question "What are you
doing to conserve the biodiversity of this our heritage"?
Give Calvin a call on 079 387 2797 and go and visit this
paradise in these privately owned gardens at the edge of Zeekoevlei.
This may inspire you to do similar where you stay.