Jenny Gon

Grocott's Mail - - OUTSIDE -

Ecca Na­ture Re­serve ge­ol­ogy in the spot­light

Lo­cated 15km from Gra­ham­stown, on the R67 to Fort Beau­fort at the top of the Ecca Pass, the Ecca Na­ture Re­serve has many fea­tures of his­tor­i­cal, ge­o­log­i­cal and botan­i­cal value. It is one of the few pro­tected ar­eas of Suc­cu­lent Thicket. The re­serve was pro­claimed in 1985 and in the late 1980s, un­der the Chair­man­ship of the late Peter Jack­son. The Gra­ham­stown Branch of WESSA played a ma­jor role in co­or­di­nat­ing its es­tab­lish­ment – along with many other lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Truck­loads of rub­bish were re­moved, trails were laid out and marked, and two plinths – with in­for­ma­tion on the ge­ol­ogy and bi­ol­ogy of the re­serve – were put up, one at each end of the re­serve.

The lo­cal branch of WESSA has re­cently un­der­taken to re­place the stolen plaque of the Bain Memo­rial, which was erected in the re­serve by the Na­tional Mon­u­ments Coun­cil in recog­ni­tion of An­drew Ged­des Bain’s work – both as road builder and as the founder of Ge­ol­ogy in South Africa. WESSA are also us­ing the op­por­tu­nity to ren­o­vate the in­for­ma­tion plinths, and re­place/mod­ify the gen­eral sign­boards.

In an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment, Dr Rose Prevec, palaeon­tol­o­gist at the Al­bany Mu­seum, and Pro­fes­sor Steve Prevec of the Rhodes Ge­ol­ogy De­part­ment, have also come on board, and with the sup­port of the Ge­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of South Africa, are go­ing to erect sign­boards high­light­ing the ge­o­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the area. This is in line with the GSSA’s pro­mo­tion of geo­science ed­u­ca­tion, pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and the rapidly grow­ing sec- Nikki Köhly: n.kohly@ru.ac.za, 046 603 7205, Tim Bull: tim­o­th­y­bull05@aol.com, 076 289 5122 Jenny Gon: j-gon@in­tekom.co.za, 046 622 5822 Nick James: nick­james@in­tekom.co.za, 082 575 9781 Philip Ma­chan­ick: p.ma­chan­ick@ru.ac.za, 046 603 8635.

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