Es­tate a 17th cen­tury in­dige­nous ini­tia­tive

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

THE DE­VEL­OP­ERS of the R150 mil­lion, 11ha Con­stan­tia Nek Es­tate now tak­ing shape 1km be­low the Nek it­self at the en­trance to the Hout Bay val­ley, are go­ing ahead with a con­ser­va­tion/re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ini­tia­tive that will help Hout Bay to re­gain some­thing of its 17th cen­tury rep­u­ta­tion as the home of one of South Africa’s finest in­dige­nous forests.

Mark Cock­burn, one of the es­tate’s de­vel­op­ers, says that he and his busi­ness part­ner, David Del­bridge, have a stated ob­jec­tive of re-in­tro­duc­ing in­dige­nous species to the 40- unit devel­op­ment.

“In 1652, Jan Van Riebeeck de­scribed the forests of t’Hout­baai­jten (Hout Bay) as ‘the best in the world’ but to­day they are al­most non- ex­is­tent. Van Riebeeck and the set­tlers took their toll in felling the forests to build de­fen­sive gar­risons and other struc­tures,” says Cock­burn.

“We de­cided that the Con­stan­tia Nek Es­tate should do its part in the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the val­ley. The site has be­come pop­u­lated with ex­otic species over time, and no in­dige­nous trees re­main, though some in­dige­nous shrubs are still there.”

To make the plan a re­al­ity, the en­vi­ron­men­tal and land­scap­ing con­sul­tants CNdV were com­mis­sioned to draw up a com­pre­hen­sive in­di­geni­sa­tion pro­gramme, and a lo­cal Hout Bay land­scape con­trac­tor, Roger Codrai of In­ter­plant Hor­ti­cul­ture, has been com­mis­sioned to carry out the work. In­ter­plant will sup­ply and plant about 75 000 in­dige­nous shrubs and more than 500 new trees, in­clud­ing over 200 in­dige­nous trees of vary­ing sizes and ma­tu­rity. The re-in­di­geni­sa­tion ini­tia­tive has been planned to min­imise wa­ter us­age on the site, and most of the plants are re­sis­tant to dry con­di­tions.

The list of trees and shrubs will in­clude the much-ad­mired Yel­low­wood Podocar­pus Lat­i­fo­lus, now South Africa’s na­tional tree, 12 of which will be al­ready ma­ture and about five me­tres tall.

They will form an at­trac­tive bound­ary along the Main Road and along the en­trance road to the homes.

Some of the other bet­ter known in­dige­nous trees to be es­tab­lished on the es­tate will be: the Pock or Bas­tard Iron­wood, Chio­nan­thum Fove­o­la­tusl the African Wild Plum, Harderyel­lum Caf­frum; the Wild Peach (also known as the Umkokoko), Kigge­laria Africana; the beau­ti­ful ev­er­green For­est El­der, Noxia Flori­bunda, which can grow to 25m high; and the African Wild olive, Olea Euro­pea sub­species Africana.

Only three of the 40 plots orig­i­nally re­leased still re­main to be sold.

Call James Win­ter on 082 990 2898 or http:// www. con­stan­

The cen­tral ac­cess road on the es­tate is lined by ma­ture olive trees which are be­ing kept to com­ple­ment the in­dige­nous plant­ing on the es­tate.

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