Glencairn Vlei and Beach Simonstown

The new GEESE signs

GEESE celebrated World Wetland Day 2010 in two ways:  there was a vlei and surroundings clean-up couple of days, and on on Sunday 31 January 2010 the beautiful new signs were unveiled.

The Unveiling of the New Signs

The afternoon was perfect, one of those Cape days when everything was perfect: the temperature, the wind, the sunshine, all beautiful.  This was the occasion of the unveiling of the new GEESE signs around the vlei.  Councillor Nicky Holderness did the honours of "cutting the ribbon".

There must have been at least thirty people in the group, GEESE members who had come to witness another worthwhile occasion. I have been told by a few people recently that "the vlei used to be an unsavoury and
unattractive piece of abandoned land which has been transformed into a beautiful park".

The 'old' sign which was moved to the Glencairn Heights side oif the vlei so that the picture would face the right way.

Those who walked around the vlei 25 4 08

The afternoon began with a walk around the vlei led by Lady Cilla Bromley who gave a commentary on the history of the old signs and the newly-sited signs.  This walk included, for those who didn't mind getting their feet wet, a walk through the Typha Tunnel, an intriguing experience.  Some of the questions heared were: What will it be like? Will it be frightening? How deep will the wet parts be? What will be next?     I think everybody enjoyed it. 

After Councillor Nicky Holderness had done the honours of unveiling the first sign, the group walked own to the next sign where Paul Jaques, who designed the new signs, unveiled the second one. 

A little further, opposite the Southertn Right Hotel, Lady Cilla Bromley did the honours of unveling the third sign. 

Sample Image

The Southern Right Hotel laid on a veritable feast of drinks and snacks in their upstairs room with its panoramic view of sea and vlei and a good time was had by all


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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.