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UITKAMP ACTION GROUP QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2007 (Second Quarter)

Time for an update. It is exciting to report that we have eighteen subscribed members. It is anticipated that more, willing & enthusiastic folk, will join as we move along with the programme. A great start – thanks to everyone.

The committee consisting of Ms Judy Múller; & Messrs Don McHardy; Pieter Kriel; Gerrit Weichers & Mike Yoell with ex officio members Ms Vibeke Kragh & Jackie Swart of the Biodiversity Management Group of the City of Cape Town, have had the first of the eleven scheduled monthly meetings for the current year.

Progress, as seen from an overall perspective has been most encouraging.  Major steps such as firebreak cutting & fencing require that the correct procedures have to be followed. All the activities that are being progressed are well underway.

Fences & entrance gates are to receive special attention from the end of the month of April. The major fencing contracts for the southern boundary have been awarded. Resources have been allocated.

The first “hack”, conducted on Port Jackson Willow at the south end of the Wetland, was concluded during March.

Fire break mowing commenced & was progressing well until a serious mechanical failure interrupted play. The tractor / mower combination - on loan from another reserve – failed. It has been sent in for repair & is expected back as soon as it has been attended to.

Spraying of the fire breaks has commenced. It is essential to create a clear pathway for fire tenders to gain access should it ever be needed.

The invasive kikuyu grass in the sensitive heart of the Wetland & the Renosterveld will be tackled with herbicide that will be kikuyu selective. Caution must be exercised.

Fund raising is a top priority for the Uitkamp Action Group. Very important goals have to be met & these will only be achieved with handsome donations & ongoing funding. The challenges are exciting & compatible rewards will be sort. All manner of means will be explored by the committee.

In the immediate future – a second firebreak spraying session has been planned; a faecal count programme is to be conducted throughout the area to determine what & how many small creatures are present in the habitat; CREW – the Custodians of Rare & Endangered Wildflowers – will be assisting with the creation of a library & reference source for plants that grow in the Uitkamp environment; we look forward to assisting the authorities with the control of any sewerage leakage into the Wetland, particularly during the winter months & a speaker meeting is being planned for the next general meeting in May for members & their friends. More details will follow in due course.

The Uitkamp Action Group is moving in the right direction under the expert guidance of our Biodiversity Management Branch leadership. From all of the residents & the committee, thank you for what you are doing.

Finally – tips & hints for all & in particular those residents that are living immediately next to the Wetland & Renosterveld.

1)      Please do not allow kikuyu grass to grow through fences.

2)      Please refrain from allowing or encouraging the dumping of garden refuse & odd bits of rubbish into the area outside your fences. Take it to the dump where it belongs.

3)      Please keep your dogs out of the Wetland & Renosterveld zones - even if they are on leads.

4)      Please ensure that any kikuyu grass runners, cut off at kerb sides, are picked up & binned thus preventing them from being washed down into the Wetland.

5)      Please keep gutters clear of rubbish, gravel & sand that can be washed down into the Wetland via the storm water drains. Winter is coming.

M.J.Y. 31/03/07


     
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