Coast KZN

17 Jun 2022

Damage to Virginia Bush Nature Reserve assessed

(Northglen News) Picture: irginia Bush Nature Reserve field rangers, Jabu Buthelezi and Zama Hlabe, discuss the damages with Riverside Trail member, Buzz Bolton.

Members of the Riverside Trail community came together over the weekend to assess the damages to the ponds and trail at the Virginia Bush Nature Reserve. The 38-hectare reserve, which is home to several ponds, has been adversely affected by the recent heavy rains, resulting in washaways, coupled with a sewage leak that has flowed into one of the ponds in the top half of the reserve.

Community stalwart and longtime member of Riverside Trail, Buzz Bolton, said the community intended to work with the eThekwini Municipality, and there will be a meeting to discuss the damages.

One area of concern is a landslide that has covered a large pond in the reserve with sand. Added to the issue is that the remaining water in the pond has now mixed with raw sewage flowing into the reserve after the floods.


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“We decided to split into groups to look at areas within the reserve that require attention. Some members of our trail-running group and other members of the community helped remove alien invasive species in the lower half of the reserve. A second group assessed the damages to the trails which include Malcolm’s Bridge in the middle half of the reserve. Unfortunately, the bridge has collapsed, and we have constructed a makeshift fix to allow runners to get over a small chasm.

“The upper half of the reserve is where we need urgent municipal intervention. While we’ve lost a large section of pond, the pooling of sewage water is a major concern as it poses a threat to the environment. The smell is malodorous, and we have also discovered what we believe is a collapsed stormwater pipe. We are meeting with members of the municipality this week, where we hope to raise the issues,” he said.

Riverside Trail members, Buzz Bolton and Jean Paul Stewart, discuss the best way to repair Malcolm’s Bridge at Virginia Bush Nature Reserve.


One of the large ponds is covered with sand and also has sewage pooling in some places.

Members of Riverside Trail, Buzz Bolton, Jean Paul Stewart, Michaela Geytenbeek and Brendon Ferrar, discuss solutions to the damages inside the Virginia Bush Nature Reserve.

Heidi Cox and Hildegard Bolton were some of the volunteers who removed alien invasive species.

Bolton added that once a recovery project is formed, they will support the municipality with the hope that the community will also get involved.

“Once we know the way forward, we will put the recovery into project form and find a way in which the community can assist. We are committed to helping the eThekwini Municipality in whatever shape or form,” he said