Coast KZN

28 Aug 2016

Walkers promote green message

Judi Davis (South Coast Herald)

Conservationists gather at Trafalgar beach to step it out to promote the need to protect the Admiralty Reserve vegetation.

Even the rain didn’t deter the conservationists.

A small but determined group of conservationists received a thorough drenching for a good cause, taking part in a rainy walk from Trafalgar to Marina Beach and back last weekend.

The party was made up mainly of members of the Southern KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (Wessa). They were accompanied by representatives from Umzimkhulu Honorary Officers and the Trafalgar Conservation Group. The reason they were stepping it out was to stress the importance of caring for our dunes and for the vegetation within the Admiralty Reserve. They weren’t going to let a little rain deter them.

Their message was that the dense dune vegetation was there for some very good reasons. Not only was it the coastline’s best defence against extreme natural events but it formed a protecting corridor for wildlife, they explained.
The walk started at the Trafalgar Blue Flag beach where a primary dune was recently cleared of vegetation and levelled. The formal investigation into this unauthorised activity had not yet been finalised but a conclusion should be announced in due course, said Wessa chairman Paddy Norman. Examining the damaged dune, the walkers noted that grass had been planted on denuded sand. The South Coast Herald has contacted environmental agencies but has not yet been able to ascertain whether the grass planting has been authorised as part of an approved rehabilitation plan.

Walking along the beach to Marina Beach and back the conservationists spotted some areas of apparent Admiralty Reserve encroachment and dune vegetation damage. However, they were pleased to be able to report some good ‘green’ news. Where dune vegetation had been damaged some years ago then left to regenerate, the dunes were showing good signs of recovery from their ‘old injuries’. It seemed that the environmental message was getting through to coastal property owners, they said.

Conservationists have expressed concern about the grassing of the denuded and levelled dune at Trafalgar’s Blue Flag beach. The South Coast Herald has not been able to ascertain whether this was authorised as part of an approved rehabilitation plan.