Clearing the lower wetland areas

Clearing the lower wetland areas

The RAMPOA landscaping team have been clearing the large shrubs and bushes around the paths leading to the Racecourse bus station at the two western wetlands. The area had become a haven for homeless vagrants, and people using the paths to and from the bus station were not feeling safe.
The new landscaping plan for the areas is an open landscape with trees, groundcover and low shrubs. There will be open vistas across the two wetland areas. There are already a number of milkwood trees (Sideroxylon inerme) growing amongst the shrubbery, and quite a few of the large shrubs like Brachylaena discolor (‘kusvaalbos’), Searsia pendulina (White karee), and even Tarchonanthus camphoratus (camphor bush) could be pruned up into trees. We will also be introducing some more trees, mostly Acacia karoo (sweet thorn), more Brachylaena, and several other species.
Replanting can only start in autumn, but before then we will plant extra Carpobrotus edulis (‘suurvy’) as a groundcover. The plants that will eventually be used are all spiny and thorny (mostly “vagrant-proof”), some of these are shown below.

Clearing the site The area before the clearing started (click on picture to enlarge):

Once they started clearing, dozens of bags of refuse (including plastic stripped from cables – see picture above) was carted away. After clearing the shrubs, a chipper was brought in to chip the cut branches for re-use on site. In some of the pictures below some of the milkwood and other trees that are being retained on the site can be seen.

The little red chipper could not make much headway, so a larger chipper was brought in, it took only two days to chip all the cut vegetation on site. This material has been spread over the cleared areas, both to prevent dust and as a mulch – this was done at the request of the City.

The area has now been cleared of shrubs, but we are still removing roots and litter. It is not helping that, now that it has been cleared, some people are now using the area for dumping rubbish – our landscaping team have a never-ending task of trying to keep the area clean. Most of the shrubs around the detention ponds have been left at this stage. If they do become a haven for vagrants, we will replace them as well; but most are low shrubs. The reedbeds serve an important filtering function and must be retained, although we do clear out excess reed growth. The irrigations system had been severely damaged by vandals, but this has now been repaired so that we can once again irrigate the area – we are trying to do this without inconveniencing people walking to and from the bus station. This does mean that we can start putting in ground cover soon; later in the year when the weather turns cooler we hope to start planting trees. The whole rehabilitation process will take place over several years as we have to do it within the limits of our normal landscaping budget.

Plants proposed for the area.
The following are some of the plants that will be planted or retained in the cleared areas. All are indigenous species and grow well in the area and under our dry summer conditions.
Plants-Sideroxylon-inerme Plants-Brachylaena-discolor Plants-Searsia-pendulina Plants-Acacia-karroo
Sideroxylon inerme
Brachylaena discolor
Searsia pendulina
(white karee)
Acacia karroo
Plants-Tarchonanthus Plants-Buddleja Plants-Carissa Plants-Lycium
Tarchonanthus camphoratus
(camphor bush)
Buddleja salvifolia
(sage wood)
Carissa macrocarpa
Lycium ferocissium
(African boxthorn)
Plants-Putterlickia Plants-Barleria-repens Plants-Salvia-a-lutea Plants-Carpobrotus
Putterlickia pyracantha
(fire thorn)
Barleria repens
(bush violet)
Salvia africana-lutea
(dune salvia)
Carpobrotus edulis