Zandvlei Trust

Westlake Wetlands Edge (Rutter Road) Task Team

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

These local resident volunteers, monitor and maintain the water body in this section of the Westlake Wetlands.

photograph by Lyn Mair

Richard Cox, John Fowkes and Ian Gildenhuys taking a breather between chopping out and removing the exotic vegetation.

photograph by Lyn Mair

Andy Noble giving a Brazilian Pepper tree sappling the treatment.

photograph by Lyn Mair

Sandra Fowkes and Una Hartley making short work of Port Jackson trees on the edge of the reed beds.

photograph by Lyn Mair

Paul Weber is wading in the river to inspect and repair the boom across the water body. 

The boom consists of a strong rope spanned across the water body and anchored on either bank. Attached to it is an anchovy fishing net, about a meter deep, weighted at the bottom so it stays below the surface. At the rope level, are 2 litre cooldrink bottles used as floats, fastened in a tube made from the netting material. It works very well at keeping out the exotic waterweed and floating litter. It is easy for stable flat bottomed boats to remove the waterweed and litter/rubbish to dispose it.

photograph by Lyn Mair

John Fowkes in his "bum boat" maneuvering about the booms.

Notes by John Fowkes from the work party on Sunday 04/09/2005

  • Clearing of Brazilian Peppers and Port Jackson took place along the water's edge at the open area at the end of Rutter Road.
  • A clearing team from the Nature Reserve is currently working in the wetland, cutting out invasive alien trees.
  • An inspection of the weed-control boom was carried out. Some booms were repaired. One will need to be replaced and we are working on this.
  • On the nature side: a family of Cape clawless otters lives in the Westlake Pond. Western Leopard Toads have called on and off for the last three weeks dependent upon the temperature. Fish spawning is taking place at the moment with a lot of activity in the Westlake Pond.
  • Alien water weed growth is starting in the side channels and the main channel to the railway bridge. We will tackle what we can.
  • The fourth boom we put in, across the access to the Westlake channels near the railway bridge has been very effective in preventing litter coming into the Westlake pond. The problem is it means it is now going through to the main vlei. An inspection of the north bank of the vlei shows the level of rubbish flowing into the vlei.
  • The fires on Muizenberg, Steenberg and Silvermine Mountains in January 2005 led to massive silt loads coming down the various drains and rivers that run down from the mountain side. This has led to an expansion of reed growth near the areas where they flow into the Westlake area. The small Westlake River tributary under the main road near Boyes Drive is very shallow and choked with reeds.


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