Durbanville Nature Reserve

The discovery of a small patch of Aristea lugens, a member of the Iridacea family (long thought to be extinct), by Mrs R Linder, Dr W P O Jackson and Prof A Barnard, while walking on the common near the Durbanville racecourse in 1960, led to the National Council of Women's resolution to establish a nature reserve in the area. The Town Council was approached and 4 hectares were made available.

Under the guidance of Mesdames Jackie Boreham and Janet Starke the National Council of Women laid out paths and brought some order to this strip of "fynbos". In 1963 the Municipality gave a further 2 hectares of disused rubbish dump and fenced the entire area. The National Council of Women called on farmers to assist in the clearing of the Port Jackson trees in the new area and Koos Eksteen, a local farmer, offered to plant proteas. Thus the origin of the Durbanville Nature Reserve.It was not until 1966 that the Department of Nature Conservation proclaimed it as a reserve and subsidised the running costs.

The National Council of Women continued to work voluntarily until 1967 when the first advisory board was appointed, jointly by the Municipality and the Department of Conservation.Seeing the progress, other local organisations became involved, sundry benches were given and the local Rotarians erected the gates.

The first curator was appointed by the Municipality in 1981 and the aims of the Nature were in sight, viz to promote, protect and further the interest in this unique area of "fynbos" situated between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, where not only "fynbos" and "renosterbos" abound; and such rare species as Protea odorata Seruria brownii and Aristea lugens may be seen.To this end Council built a small information centre in 1984, where a herbarium will be started and illustrated lectures given to promote an awareness of our unique heritage for the youth and public in general.

About DurbanvilleINFO

DurbanvilleINFO is an independent initiative established in 2002 supporting business and tourism in and around Durbanville, Bellville, Brackenfell and the Northern suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa.

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