AGM 2009 notice and news

Business First!   Please put Sunday 19th April at 17h00 in your diaries for our AGM in St Andrew’s Church, Glen Road, Glencairn, with the usual refreshments next door after the meeting.   Do hope you can manage it.   Prior to the meeting we would like to show interested members the Stepping Stones and the hows and whys they have been designed, etc.
An Appeal for Small Stones – We urgently need more stones which have one flat surface but are no thicker than about 5 or 6 centimetres maximum.   Please could you bring them to The Old Manse, 71 Glen Road, Glencairn where we are “baking the cakes” – ie making the stepping stones.   They should be natural stones, though preferably not the crumbly sand stone as that wont last.   The flat surface can be as large as you like.   That would be such a help to us – thank you.

Stepping Stone Progress Report

  • January 2009 we introduced the idea of putting stepping stones across the Els River for when it floods over the causeway on the berm in the heavy rains, making it impossible for workers and walkers to cross dry footed.   After much discussion & planning, four metal moulds were made, 3 by Bob Hulsman & 1 by the Jaques family.
  • February 2009 we experimented and produced the first prototype (see first photo) and on World Wetland Day (celebrated by us on the Sunday) we, comprising of about 20 GEESE, built the step down onto the causeway and laid four more stepping stones.   The Steps had begun ……….!
  • March 2009 we “baked” “cakes” in the Bromley garden!   For that, read, ‘by lining the moulds with damp-course plastic, we found we could make four ‘cakes’ at a time, remove the moulds after 24 hours, and then begin the process all over again.   Meanwhile Brad mapped out the highest points of the causeway, hence the picturesque winding route.  (see photos 2 and 3).
  • Thanks to Philippe’s support and enthusiasm we have now baked a total of 40 in the Bromley ‘oven’ and with more coming off the line as the days go by.   To date we have 32 Steps cemented in and another 8 ready to be planted – we feel we are half way and getting better at it at every ‘baking’!
  • Chris has supplied us with much of the raw materials from the City and we have employed two helpers.   So we do have a few overheads and with this in mind we are inviting people to purchase ‘their’ own Stepping Stone @ R100.  To date, we have sold 7 Steps, namely numbers 1, 5, 7, 20, 24, 26 and 32.   Forgive us if we have sold off your special number, but please chose another one and let us know quickly so as not to be disappointed again!
Nature Update
  • The Banded Martins have not been deterred by the new Wiley Bridge and have raised their usual family of two – in fact they have enjoyed the extra poles to perch on! egyptian-goose.jpg
  • The Egyptian Geese migrated but one returned to visit us this last week
  • The Moorhens have remained faithful residents of the top panmoorhen.jpg
  • Some indigenous fish have been sighted in the top pan!   We would love all the fisherman to have great success and remove the non-indigenous carp!   They are upsetting the eco system and eating our frogs who are, in turn, the specialties enjoyed by wader birds etc.  We seriously need to make our pans more inviting for birds and increase our bird population and its variety.
  • The Amaryllis belladonna (March Lily) were later this year – they waited until it was March before gracing us with their glorious presence.   What makes some so rich in colour and others look quite insipid in comparison?
  • Watch out for the Haemanthus Coccineus – Another of the Amaryllis family!   They are those extraordinary bulbs that, like the March Lilies, produce flowers, red ones, out of nothing and only afterwards do the leaves appear – they can be found on the Jungle Path.
Thanks for workers in the Vlei
  • Grateful thanks to the Litter Bin Monitors – you are stars!   Hardenbergs, Hulsmans, van Huyssteens, Deeks, Browns, Cartwrights, Allans.  Your efforts do a great deal to reduce the amount of litter in the Vlei.  
  • Grateful to Heine who has pruned the Jungle Path, and to Anne & Heine who pruned the Sand Dune Path for World Wetland Day.
  • And finally, huge thanks to Chris Bonthuys and the Cape Town City Council for their support and back up – yes, the wetland belongs to them but they are a wonderful support in fulfilling all our dreams.
Greatly looking forward to seeing you all on the 19th of April – Cilla and Rupert Bromley

Welcome to G.E.E.S.E.

Thank you for visiting the GEESE website.

GEESE is the acronym for Glencairn Education & Environmental Support Enthusiasts, we are a group of people who are passionate about our vlei (valley) through which runs the River Els (Else) on its way into False Bay off the Cape Peninsula.
At times it seeps through a wetland (which was caused by man), only to form a river as it flows out into the sea, with water in it all the year round. The wetland was caused by the rail and road bridges over the Els River being built in the early 1900s on the Simon’s Town side of Glencairn Beach/Els Bay. This prevented the sea from flowing naturally and tidally up the river.

The wetland was declared a Nature Conservation Area by John Wiley, then MP for Simon’s Town, as is recorded on a rock where the Glen Road crosses the Els. There are a number of paths round the wetland, some being used by workers going to and from work, and all of them by walkers, many with their dogs.

We have two pans with different characteristics: the top one is the home of Moorhens who have raised two clutches this season, three lots of chicks in each, and the bottom, nearer the sea, is home for the Coots. There should be many more birds but there are two busy roads on either side which are inhibiting factors.