However pristine the Rooisand Reserve might be, the vegetation to the right and left of the dirt road that takes you there can only fill one with sadness.
For years, the natural vegetation there had been strangled by invasive, non-indigenous trees – eucalypts, myrtle, cluster pines and Port Jackson willows. The extent of the invasion was, quite simply, horrifying. Then, a few years ago, a huge runaway fire swept through the area and most of the invasive plants were destroyed. To my, probably uninformed, mind, this presented a golden opportunity to the owners of the land and other interested members of the public to attempt to restore the vegetation to its natural state. Surely, it is far easier pulling out seedlings and very young plants as they emerge after a fire than it is dealing with plantations of fully-grown trees? It is good to see that this has happened in some affected areas closer to Bot River. Sadly, nothing was done in the land adjacent to the Rooisand Road and, in no time at all, it will be as bad as it was before the fire.
The Rooisand Reserve is a Cape Nature initiative. Can they not bring some pressure to bear, if not some assistance? And what about the Overstrand Municipality? Are there not regulations about controlling the growth of invasive aliens on private property?
Maybe I am wrong. I shall put these questions to Ed Silberbauer, fondly referred to in these parts as “Mr Hack”. He is appearing in next month’s “May I Introduce . . .” column.