Reserve ready to reopen

The Helderberg Nature Reserve

After its closure as a result of the devastating fire in June this year, the City of Cape Town has last week announced the reopening of the Helderberg Nature Reserve.

In a statement issued by the City on Thursday July 21, the City says that the reserve has undergone restoration work by the City’s Biodiversity team and is scheduled to reopen on Monday August 1.

“We thank residents for their understanding while our staff undertook the most urgent reinstatement work. We have scheduled the reopening of the reserve for 1 August as we believe our teams would be able to get the area to a point where the public can be safely permitted to access certain sections of the mountain by then.

“We would also like to thank the Friends of Helderberg members who have contributed many hours and helping hands to assist with the various clean-up and restoration tasks that were needed,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

Teams were able to attend to the most urgent erosion work and to make the infrastructure, such as the fences and picnic area, safe for public use.

The City says, while the post fire clean-ups, restoration of eroded areas after the heavy rainfalls and the rebuilding of burned out trails will continue, there will be a number of routes open from the reopening date, which visitors will be able to use immediately.

Temporary trail markers have been placed along routes, which have been deemed safe for public use. These routes have been cleared of debris and burned out infrastructure.

“We urge visitors to only walk the trails identified for use and not wander on to old exposed trails into the veld. Keeping off popular trails that will still be closed when the reserve reopens will allow our teams to continue to work on these routes uninterrupted so that they can be available for everyone to enjoy safely once ready,” said Mr Andrews.

By August 1, most of the trails on the lower slopes within the reserve should be accessible to the public and the reserve teams will continue with the replacement of water bars and steps to preserve the trails throughout the year.