Cottesmore Open Land, Bryanston needs your help – clean up 29 June 2013

You are invited to assist with a clean up taking place at the Cottesmore Open Land on Saturday, 29 June from 14:00.

Please bring the kids, some drinks and gloves, rakes and spades. Rubbish bags will be provided.

Everyone’s help is be appreciated. The Park needs to be improved to encourage residents to make use of the land for recreational purposes. Please share on Facebook and Twitter.

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The ‘Cottesmore Vacant Land and Wetland Area’ is situated between Cottesmore Road, Queens Road, Waterloo Street and the N1 Highway in Bryanston, Gauteng. The land forms part of the old Douglasdale Dairy.

There is a wetland running through the land. In years gone by, there were a number of dams created by the Dairy, one of which still exists on the northern end near the freeway.

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Bryanston – Cottesmore Wetland News – June 2013

THE TEAM

It’s been a while since we last sent an update as to the Cottesmore Vacant land & Wetland Project. Over the past months, we have been working with City Parks in an attempt to get the Land restored and maintained. This has not been productive at all and we are convinced that we are speaking to the wrong people. We have since revamped our team and gone back to the drawing board in terms of our goals and objectives which we will share in this newsletter.

Our current committee comprises residents and businesses that are passionate about restoring the Land into a safe, natural asset for the use of our community. Lance Porter, Chairman of the Community Policing Forum of which we are a subcommittee, Hein van Heerden, the Randburg Sector Policing Head and Bryanston Ward 104 Councillor, Mike Wood give us great support and assistance with access to City Departments.

Our immediate goals

1.    ZONING

After months of trying to work with City Parks and getting nowhere, we are in the process of taking our Agenda to a higher level and are in the process of securing a meeting with Vicky Shuping – the Regional Director for the City. We believe the issue with the neglect by City Parks of the Cottesmore land is that it is NOT officially ZONED as a Park. Currently, the land is registered with the city into 3 different zones. There is no budget allocated to the maintenance and upkeep of the land, hence the mess that the land is in currently. It is essentially a no-mans land, with no single department at the City being accountable for it.

2.    SAFETY

Once a City department takes full responsibility for the land, we need a BRIDGE across the wetland as this is where the majority of the attacks on commuters walking to and from work/school are occurring. Safety is our major concern and attacks are on the increase.

3.    RESTORE LAND TO NATURAL HABITAT

We want the land restored to its natural state with proper regular maintenance for local residents to enjoy.

  • The sewerage pipes in the waterway need to be addressed urgently.
  • The storm water drains which empty too high on the land are increasing the footprint of the wetland unnaturally.
  • Alien vegetation needs to be removed and dealt with.

We believe that this piece of land is a potential jewel for the use of residents and it is a travesty that we are unable to enjoy the natural habitat due to safety issues. We hope to have some feedback soon with regards the outcome of our meeting with the City which we will feed back to you.

COMMUTER SURVEY

We did a survey on the 20th of May, early morning and late afternoon of people walking through the wetland as a direct route to work/school. The access is from Sloane Street across to Cumberland Road.

Of the 303 people canvassed, 92% of people do not think the Park is safe. 15 people had been directly affected by crime either from having their cell phone stolen, handbag stolen or were personally assaulted.

COLONIAL FENCING

This has been promised for completion for over 7 months now by City Parks. We are constantly in touch with them. Non delivery of promises made has been a major issue and frustration for us.

WALK THROUGH FROM COTTESMORE LAND TO THE FREEWAY

This is an area that is so overgrown and neglected that none of us had ever ventured down there before (the area between the bottom of Douglasdale Dairy and the cluster complex off Benn Road. The wetland runs through it and down towards the Freeway).

OUR FINDINGS

  • Massive erosion behind the walls of the residences along the almost ‘non existent ‘walkway
  • Cable theft casings were found everywhere – SAPS with us and are aware of this.
  • No evidence of permanent ‘residents’ or squatters were found however there was evidence of occasional sleepovers by individuals happening (2 such spots found).
  • Otters appear to be living in the small dam at the bottom of the area near the freeway (spoors were noted!).
  • Alien vegetation is rife.
  • The area is difficult to walk through.

INVITATION TO ASSIST WITH CLEARING AND CLEANING THE COTTESMORE WETLAND

Please join us for a Wetland Clean up on Saturday, 29th June from 2pm onwards. Bring your gloves (bags will be supplied) the whole family and some drinks for when the job is done!

We look forward to meeting you there.

The Cottesmore Land & Wetland Project Team

Karen Doveton (Resident), Janey Edwards (Resident), Simon Barnes (Resident), Donna Sipman (RE/MAX Masters), Lance Porter( CPF Vice Chairman/Chairman of Sector 2) , Mike Wood ( DA Ward Councillor 104).

Karen Doveton, Resident: Karen@theproductionline.co.za

Lance Porter, Vice Chairperson Community Policing Forum: lance@smarttaps.co.za

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