The battle to protect the Silverglen Nature Reserve from total destruction is an ongoing process for the Selfhelp Committee.
Shaun Hammond of the Silverglen Selfhelp Committee said last week they had to rush to the conservation area at close to 11pm to clear out major blockades from the roadway. “Land invaders together with criminals want to destroy this valuable environmental asset.
“This reserve and Silverglen Green Lung does not merely benefit us locally but globally!” he said. Hammond said, ever since one risky entrance/exit was closed, they have noticed an increase in wildlife activity in that part of the reserve. “Further to that, we do not have to pick up dead monkeys, night jars, gennets, owls and bush babies from the roadway anymore,” he said.
Over the past couple of years, the nature reserve has been plagued with problems, including land invasions and a couple of cases where human remains were found in the vicinity of the reserve. To which has led to the eThekwini Parks, Recreation and Culture to announcing counteractive measures, including a R25 million rand fence to prevent land invaders from erecting their shacks in the reserve, This will go a long way to aiding the committee in maintaining the reserve, which incorporates the Silverglen Nursery, a first of its kind in South Africa, which produces approximately 250 species of indigenous plants.
Some are used by traditional healers, which can be found at the Indigenous Medicinal Plant Nursery.
The committee currently has a number of rehabilitation projects for the reserve which can be found in Chatsworth. Hammond said, “The Silverglen Selfhelp Conservancy transformed this rundown vagrant hangout, rubber burning, mess of a place into an Indigenous Butterfly Park. Planting trees and shrubs are easy but taking care of them to develop and grow is hard work.
“We are currently busy with two new projects at the corners of Lakeview Drive and Silverglen Drive, together with PRC and natural resources.” The conservancy has a tiny team of committed people who treat the indigenous flora as pets.They work on bite-size projects to make sure each project is sustainable. “If you can’t sustain it, don’t start it, is our code for projects,” Hammond said.