Category Archives: CVC Report Back

CVC Report-back April 2016

 CVC April

CVC April 2016 1During April, the rangers removed several dustbin bag loads of seed-pods of Datura stramonium – Common Thorn Apple – from the Clarens Nature Reserve. All parts of this plant are poisonous if consumed; propagate readily and are easily dispersed by livestock throughout the CNR. As such the seed containing pods were carefully cut and handled to reduce spillage of seed onto the soil. This plant has encroached rapidly in the CNR and if not swiftly dealt with, could pose a threat to biodiversity in the area. This is a Category 1b A&IP, requiring mandatory removal from all properties and natural areas – it may not be grown, sold, traded or transported for any commercial or domestic use. For more information about invasive plants and their management in and around Clarens, please contact the CVC at the details provided below.

Environmental Education

 

CVC April 3The CVC continuously improves on its’ outreach to the public regarding environmental issues – whether it be through workshops; presentations at local interest clubs; events and activities at schools; enviro-articles; guided trail tours, and more. Our stall at the Clarens Country Market (Saturdays) at the Bibliophile is a great opportunity for the residents of Clarens, and visitors alike to get to know the rangers and to enquire about the work that the CVC is engaged in with the community of Clarens.

Trail maintenance & enhancements

The Caracal Contour Cycle Trail received some much needed TLC after damage caused by cattle on the trail earlier in the month.  After some time and a good deal of energy from the rangers & Clarens Working on Fire team, the trail was looking better than new as several improvements were made, particularly in some of the steeper and inherently narrower sections of the trail. Work was also done on the Sky Contour & Kloof Mountain trails in preperation for the Ashburton MTB Cycle Series.

Special activities

CVC April 4

The Ashburton MTB Cycle Series made its’ annual round in Clarens over the weekend and brought many cyclists to Clarens. For the first time, the cycle race wound its way through the CNR on both days of the race. An estimated 600 and 900 cyclists participated in the race which brought them into the reserve on the Saturday & Sunday respectively. There were thankfully relatively few injuries, and in general the rangers received many compliments about the conditions of the trails as the cyclists passed through the reserve.

CVC April 5

Our rangers on patrol

CVC April 6

Wood collectors have been observed with greater frequency and the rangers are having to be increasingly vigilant that only dead invasive wood is collected from within the reserve. Please note that the harvesting of live wood of any kind from within the CNR is prohibited, and should such an activity be observed, please contact the rangers immediately. The snakes are out and about, likely as they seek appropriate shelter in which to hibernate throughout the winter – so please don’t shortcut through long-grass, wear boots and keep your eyes peeled. Winter is definitely approaching, and the concomitant array of fall colours is truly spectacular this time of year. Anywhere that you look in Clarens, the signs are evident as more and more leaves fall on our trails. It is now the perfect time to pick up your camera and take a few happy snaps – and remember you could use these in our up-and-coming photography competition – see our Facebook page and the CVC website for details!

Donations

The CVC has received a number of small cash donations at our stall at the Clarens Country Market (Bibliophile) over the past month.  As always, your contributions go a long way in the management of the CNR and improvement and maintenance of infrastructure.  Donations of any amount can find our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ClarensVillageConservancy or through our link in the Clarens News. The CVC Banking details – Acc. name: Clarens Village Conservancy. Acc. number: 330544489. Standard Bank, Bethlehem. Branch code: 055033.

Article and title picture by D. Coulson   Cell: 076 833 8910 or 060 307 1489

In text photo credits: D. Coulson and the CVC Rangers

Email: otgtechnologies@gmail.com

 

CVC Report-Back March 2016

CVC Report back

Alien clearingcvc march 2

This past month the rangers have observed an increasing number of Datura stramonium or Common Thorn Apple, growing in the Clarens Nature Reserve and have taken measures to remove the poisonous weed wherever encountered. This is a Category 1b Alien & Invasive Plant (A&IP) as classified according to NEMBA (act 10 of 2004), requiring mandatory removal – see the article on this invasive published in the Clarens News for a detailed description of the adverse effects it has on humans. For more information about invasive plants and their management in and around Clarens, please contact the CVC at the details provided below.

 

Environmental Education

The CVC and a local volunteer have been working towards the establishment of a photography competition which aims to raise awareness of the intrinsic beauty and value of the natural environment. Great prizes have been locally sponsored and we have some ultra-keen judges aboard to help decide the winning photographs. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for more info relating to this exciting new competition launching mid-April. The rangers also lead guests on a guided tour of the Spruit & Mallen Wall. By the end of the hike the guests reported that they were thoroughly impressed with the level of knowledge and heart put into the tour by the rangers – why shucks!

 Trail maintenance & enhancements

cvc march 3The rangers and Clarens Working on Fire team have been hard at work preparing the Caracal Contour cycle trail and Titanic trail for the Easter holidays. Cattle had done much damage to the trails; however with the persistence of the CVC and WOF, these have been restored to their full glory. Preparations for the Ashburton MTB Cycle Series (15th – 17th April) are underway and a temporary path has been opened for the event from the top of the CNR, linking up with the sky-high Sky Contour trail and eventually, through to the majestic Caracal Contour.

Special activities

cvc report march 4Clarens experienced its first ever Lush Festival, based at Linwood farm over Easter weekend. The music fest attracted some 4 thousand campers; festival goers; runners and avid cyclists. A portion of the Lush Fest cycle race entered the CNR and several of the cyclists were able to enjoy the stunning scenery afforded from high-above in the reserve (well as much as we imagine they possibly could towards the end of a race) – all considered, it was a big success for everyone involved. The next big cycle event in Clarens is the Ashburton MTB Cycle Series wherein a total of 2500 cyclists will be taking part – 2000 of which are expected to cycle through the scenic CNR. This is almost double the 2015 figures and includes international riders and locals alike. The event is an amazing opportunity to showcase both the beauty and value of the CNR, and the race will be captured by a news-crew and televised on Supersport.

Our rangers on patrol

cvc march 5Wood collecting is on the rise as it always is on the approach to winter. Several concerned residents have spotted the wood collectors harvesting large volumes of wood along the length of the Spruit and the area of the reserve below Titanic Rock. The rangers have observed the collectors harvesting live wood in addition to dead Oldwood trees from within the CNR. Several more of our trail markers have disappeared and yet others have been found discarded some distance away from their original positions, elsewhere gates in the reserve have been bound shut with barbed wire and the prickly wire has been carefully removed by the rangers on numerous occasions. These prohibited activities may result in anyone caught engaging in them facing serious criminal charges. The CVC has a notion of the culprits’ identities in each case and are in the process of addressing the issue with the municipality and SAPS. Please be vigilant and notify the rangers of any suspect behaviour in the reserve and along the Spruit streams.

Donations

cvc march 6The CVC has received a number of small cash donations at our stall at the Clarens Country Market (Bibliophile) over the past month.. As always, your contributions go a long way in the management of the Reserve and Clarens as a whole.  Anyone willing to make a donation of any form and amount can contact us via our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ClarensVillageConservancy or through our link in the Clarens News. The CVC Banking details – Acc. name: Clarens Village Conservancy. Acc. number: 330544489. Standard Bank, Bethlehem. Branch code: 055033.

Article and title picture by D. Coulson   Cell: 076 833 8910 or 060 307 1489

In text photo credits: D. Coulson and the CVC Rangers

Email: otgtechnologies@gmail.com

CVC Report-Back January 2016

Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Our rangers do sterling work looking after what must be one of Clarens’s most important assets. Furthermore, their Environmental Education projects will, I’m sure go a long way towards ensuring that this precious resource will continue to be protected well into the future.

Jan report 1

Jan report 2

CVC Report-Back November 2015

The CVC Report-Back for November 2015:   Yet another interesting update on everything that’s happening in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve, and the ongoing work done by the CVC Rangers.   (These reports are submitted monthly by Damien Coulson.   To catch up on past monthly reports visit the Clarens Village Conservancy page on this website or visit their own website:  www.clarensvillageconservancy.org.   They also have a facebook page: www.facebook.com/ClarensVillageConservancy.

CVC Report-Back November 2015:
Alien clearing;
Environmental Education;
Our rangers on Patrol;
Donations;
Seasons Greetings.
cvc report 3cvc report 4cvc report 5cvc report 6cvc report 7CVC report 8

 

Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Conservancy