De Hel Nature Area

Southern Cross Drive(Between Southern Cross Drive and Constantia Nek Road)
Constantia
Cape Town

De Hel Nature Area

Beobachtung von Vögeln & WildtierenWald/NaturparkÖko-Tour/Wanderweg

Übersicht

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De Hel Nature Area is a riverine valley adjoining Table Mountain below Rhodes Drive to the northeast of Constantia Nek. The upper reaches of the Spaanschemat River runs through this 21,3 ha natural area, and environmental surveys of De Hel show that the site remains in a near natural condition. The land is designated as zoned public open space, and is owned by the City of Cape Town. A management partnership has been arranged between the municipality and the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts (FOCVGB).

De Hel has not been dubbed ‘the jewel in the crown’ of Constantia’s riverine open spaces without good reason. Its steep slopes, densely covered in trees, run down to the riverbed, and at the bottom, a flat piece of land known as ‘the Meadow’ is still home to pockets of fruit trees and garden plants, as the Meadow was cultivatedin the past. The site has also been declared a Provincial Heritage Site.

De Hel is linked to ancient cattle tracks originating from the Khoi-Khoi pastoralists in the Cape. The Dutch East India Company also established one of their four woodcutters’ posts in the area, and because of this and its associations with slave labour and slave runways, De Hel is a heritage site of significance.

A plant survey identified 250 plant species; a third of these being alient to the site. The indigenous vegetation is Afrotemperate forest and fynbos (i.e. species common to the mountains of Africa), and is home to the endangered silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum) and the Erica phylicaefolia.

Some 16 species of mammals have been observed, and a bird count yielded 72 species to date, with 17 reptiles and amphibians recorded. Notable endangered species include the Knysna warbler (Bradypterus sylvaticus) and the Western leopard toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus).

ADDRESS: Between Southern Cross Drive and Constantia Nek Road, Constantia

OPENING HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

ENTRANCE FEE: None

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Taxi

ACTIVITIES:Walking, jogging, birdwatching and photography

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: None

FRIENDS GROUP: Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts

City Parks Tel 021 689 9141
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