Bracken Nature Reserve

Bracken Nature Reserve

Bracken Nature Reserve - Southern Africa : A small reserve on a hill in Brakenfell. Was used as a quarry and then a landfill site, but now useless so a nature reserve. Conserving some remnants of Fynbos and rocky Fynbos Thicket. In the 1700s the hill overlooking Brackenfell was known as Kan

A small reserve on a hill in Brakenfell. Was used as a quarry and then a landfill site, but now useless so a nature reserve. Conserving some remnants of Fynbos and rocky Fynbos Thicket.

In the 1700s the hill overlooking Brackenfell was known as Kanonkop due to a signalling cannon that was stationed there. It was used to signal farmers of the arrival of ships that might buy their produce. A granite quarry - for building stones and pavements was located on the hill from 1880s to 1950, and abandoned until 1970, after which it was turned into a landfill site, for waste disposal from the northern suburbs.
The City has decided to rehabilitate the waste disposal site by covering it with soil and planting indigenous plants to make a park for people who live nearby.
Bracken Nature Reserve in Brackenfell was established in 1975 but until about 2004 it was very poorly managed. It was later earmarked as a core botanical site.

In 2005, people from the local community started a Friends Group to help the staff of Bracken Nature Reserve with their conservation projects.
In 2013 a ‘6 pounder’ cannon was donated to Bracken by Tygerberg Nature Reserve.

Even though the nature reserve is very disturbed, this 36 hectare site is rich in plants. The reserve consists of Critically Endangered Swartland Granite Renosterveld and Cape Flats Sand Fynbos vegetationi types. At Bracken and a nearby hill called Perdekop, more than 160 different indigenous plants (and 300 plant species) have been found!

Some 10 endemic and threatened plant species occur here: including Lachenalia aloides, Lampranthus glaucus and Orbea variegata.
In spring, the disturbed areas are covered with the Rain Daisy (Dimorphotheca pluvialis), as well as other spring flowers (e.g. Rooi Gousblom (Gazania krebsiana), Felicia filifolia and Groot Disseldoring (Berkheya armata).

Birds include Redcap Lark, Blackshoulder Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Southern Doublecollar Sunbird, Sacred Ibis and many more.

Mammals include the Small Grey Mongoose, Cape Grysbuck, Smallspot Genet, Polecat, Common Molerat, Cape Molerat, Porcupine, Stripe Mouse, Cape Gerbil, Namaqua Rock Mouse and Cape Hare.

Reptiles include the Cape Dwarf Chameleon, Parrotbeak Tortoise, Angulate Tortoie, Slugeater, Cape Sand Snake, Karoo Whip Snake, Cape Golden Skink, Dwarf Burrowing Skink, Cape Cobra and Mole Snake.

Amphibians include Cape Sand Frog, Cape Rain Frog and River Frog.

There is a short trail and a picnic site in the reserve. The City plans to start an environmental education centre and to put in a hiking trail linking Bracken Nature Reserve to Perdekop.

Perdekop is a small satellite nature reserve situated along Kruin Street and is not normally open to the public, except on special occasions. This area needs special protection and is a delight to visit. Feel free to contact management for authorised access.

OPENING HOURS: 07:30-16:00 (daily) - entrance is free.

[email protected]
http://www.capetown.gov.za/naturereserves

30 Dec 2016
Tony Rebelo