Constantia Valley Greenbelt Trails

Constantia Valley Greenbelt Trails

Constantia Valley Greenbelt Trails - Southern Africa : To document the fauna, flora and moulds of the Constantia Greenbelts. The various trails are 20-35 minutes long, but some are end to end.

To document the fauna, flora and moulds of the Constantia Greenbelts.

The various trails are 20-35 minutes long, but some are end to end. They are:

North:

* Doordrift Walk (Doordrift Rd Plumstead northwest to Alphen Hotel, along Diep River, and over the detention ponds): 25-30min

* Alphen Trail (Alphen Hotel west to Le Sueur Meadow, along Diep River): 20-25 min - popular with dog walkers

* Diep River Trail (Le Sueur Meadow west to Cecilia Forest at Southern Cross Drive): 25-35 min - lovely vlei and shade walk

* Klaasenbosch Trail (Le Suer Meadow north along Klaasenbosch River to Klaasenbosch - Kirstenbosch Rycroft Gate): 30-45 min - lovely shade walk, with a planted "indigenous" section (i.e. indigenous to South Africa, not the Peninsula) some of which are named.

* Brommersvlei Walk (an isolated east-west walk along the Brommersvlei River and Bel Ombre Meadow): 20-25 min [ Note: during spring-summer-autumn dogs must be on leads: apparently to protect breeding birds ]

West:

* Die Hel Nature Area ( a Dell of overgrown Fynbos and invading forest under pines, with superb flat walks and steep alternatives): 45-55 min. When there was more Fynbos, this area was reknowned for its Knysna Scrub Warblers, but is now overgrown. Because of the expensive houses upslope it is unlikely to be regularly burned in order to maintain the Fynbos.

South:

* Grootboschkloof Trail (from Firgrove Way north to Spaansgemat Road along the Grootbos River): 20-25 min

* Spaansgemat River Trail (from Firgrove Way west to Spaansgemat Road at Peddlers along the Spaansgemat River): 25-35 min

* Silverhurst Trail (after a 5 min walk from Peddlers across Constantia Main Road to Silverhurst): 30-35 min

* Keysers River Trail (from Firgrove Way south along the Keysers River to the Cycle Track (and Tokai Park) and Tokai Lismore Ave): 30-35 min. This links via Tokai Park to Tokai Manor, the Arboretum and Elephants Eye Path, and via the Constantiaberg contour path to Constantia Neck and Cecilia and to Kirstenbosch for those wanting more strenuous hikes or cycles.

The Green Belt is a superb area for discovering trees and shrubs planted by gardeners and authorities over the last 200 years. Because of its isolation from the natural fires, there is no hope of ever restoring the area to Fynbos, and the area will continually be invaded by indigenous forest plants and trees, dispersed by birds and bats down the river courses. Similarly, alien trees and shrubs are spreading from established stands and neighbouring gardens. In this setting these species - especially the trees - are most welcome and form spectacular groves and avenues: ideal for shade walking. The astute walker can probably date areas of establishment from the species present. Most of the more recently established areas have more indigenous species, with the most recent becoming more focussed on the the indigenous Peninsula species rather than merely southern African plants. There is an active committee helping manage the area, and controlling the highly invasive species, as well as those species that are too vigorous - especially within the rivers. In addition, areas are regularly improved with new plantings. Over 100km of trails are maintained, with bridges over rivers and boardwalks were necessary.

The trails are regularly used by hikers, dogwakers, cyclists and runners. There are sufficient people at all times for the walks to be considered totally safe.

04 Nov 2015
Tony Rebelo