Glencairn Vlei and Beach Simonstown

World Wetland Day

World Wetland Day was duly observed in the valley as has been our

custom for the last seven years.   This year it took the whole day for those
with stamina!   We started off by working on the triangle of land in front
of the Southern Right Hotel.   We collected up the litter – the river was in
a bad way – and Rupert took away two trailer loads of rubbish.   While that
was going on, another group tackled the typha down stream from the bridge,
clearing a nice patch, exposing the river and hauling up a huge pile of
reeds for Chris Bonthuys of City Parks to take away which he did on the
Monday.   Members found it fun and satisfying and the plan is to do more
clearing and expose the river.   The hotel very kindly treated us to
delicious sandwiches, coffee and tea, and cool drinks for the children,
after which Paul Jaques gave us a wonderful presentation of the old Water
Mill up river.   It is now in ruins but Paul brought the whole thing to life
in a remarkable and most realistic way thanks to computer wizardry!   In the
afternoon, some of us assembled at the ruins and then walked down the river
to the Wetland, thanks to the generosity of the Navy, Rotary and Gordons -
quite difficult in places but we proved it can be done and it was a start to
establishing it as a regular walk.   Drinks (courtesy of the Southern Right)
and snacks at the hotel and the day ended with GEESE being most generously
given R1,500 by the hotel!   What a day!  


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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.