Join us for a talk on mushrooms

Ons wil julle graag uitnooi na n baie interessante praatjie oor die sampioene van die Moreletakloof Natuur Reservaat op 12 April vanaf 17:30 – 19:30. Liz Popich en haar familie het n baie groot belangstelling in sampioene, en deel hul kennis en fotos van die mooiste sampioene en fungi.

Bring asseblief u eie stoel of kombers om op te sit, asook iets om te eet en drink. Ons ontmoet by die Informasie Hut wat by die hek geleё is reg langs die parkering.

Die koste beloop R40/volwasse persoon en R20/kind onder 12.

Please join us for a very interesting talk on Mushrooms and Fungi on the 12th April 2014 from 17:30 – 19:00. The talk will be presented by Liz Popich who has been taking beautiful pictures and collecting very interesting facts that she will share with us.

Bring a blanket or chairs to sit on as well as something to eat and drink. This is really worthwhile even for young kids. The cost will be R40 for adults and R20  for kids under 12.

For more information contact us at info@moreletakloof.co.za

mushroom

Bird Hide

If you have visited the Moreletakloof Nature Reserve recently, you would have noticed our lovely new bird hide.

In the article below, BirdLife South Africa shares some interesting facts about bird hides, as well as a comprehensive manual on how to build a universally accessible bird hide. The Moreletakloof Nature Reserve’s hide is one of the plans that they share.

“In order to promote birdwatching, BirdLife South Africa realises that facilities such as hides and boardwalks are needed. Not only do these allow people to get close to birds, thus allowing the viewing of secretive species and providing bird photography opportunities, but they ensure that the impact on the environment, for example through limiting access across sensitive wetland habitats, is minimised.

It is important for bird hides to be carefully designed, properly constructed and well maintained. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some hides have been poorly planned and built, and despite original good intentions often fall into disrepair. Sadly, many hides are also not accessible to everyone, such as to people who are visually impaired, in wheelchairs, or the elderly who have difficulty walking. In order to assist potential bird hide builders with the building of bird hides a document with the title “A guide to build universally accessible bird hideswas drafted and can be downloaded below. The document of 31 pages contains information about the planning, construction and maintenance of bird hides as well as sketches, technical drawings and more than 40 photographs to illustrate the text.”

For more, click here: http://www.birdlife.org.za/conservation/iba/657

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How friendly is our routes for people living with disabilities?

We receive a lot of queries about how accessible the Moreletakloof Nature Reserve is for  people living with disabilities, so we asked a few of our regular visitors, Chris Patton from SANParks and Mathys Roets, to give us their personal experiences:

Chris Patton:

I am a T6 paraplegic in my 40s and reliant on a wheelchair to move around.  I find Moreletakloof Nature Reserve an excellent place to visit for exercise and to get fresh air in a safe natural location in the Pretoria area.  It also enables me to interact closely with nature, particularly birds and the reserves large animals which include zebra, blesbok, springbok and ostriches, all of which are relatively comfortable with human presence.  There is also an amazing array of flora – trees, grasses and flowers, plus fungi, reptiles and insects, all an indication of a healthy eco-system in the heart of suburbia.

At present there are 3 specific features adapted for use by mobility impaired visitors:

  • A paved level parking area ideal for getting in and out of a vehicle from one’s wheelchair.
  • An accessible toilet with ramped access, grab rails, and a 2 way swing door easily pushed open by hand or one’s feet.
  • The Flufftail hide overlooking a vlei area and containing ramps and moveable benches in front of viewing slots that are designed in such a way to provide comfortable clearance to accommodate wheelchair users wanting to gaze out of the view slot.

Because Moreletakloof Nature Reserve is a kloof it is not a flat landscape and one must descend from the parking area down to the stream that runs through the reserve’s centre to get to the hide.  One has 2 choices to do so… one can free wheel down the tar service road, which oscillates between a gentle gradient to a steep gradient in parts; or one can take the more rugged foot path through the indigenous woodland, where one travels over compacted earth, and a wheelchair user needs to negotiate leaf litter and the odd tree root or rock, in what is very natural experience.  Because one is moving downhill progression is possible, but the patches of steeper gradient, loose earth and occasional obstacle mean that this alternate route is probably only an option for a wheelchair user in its descent, and to come back up the hill the tar road is the route one must take.

For those persons of frailer disposition, it is possible to drive all the way down to the bottom of the hill and park near the accessible toilet; and to then only have to travel a shorter distance through the river bed along a grass-covered path and then to move along a short path parallel to the stream to get into the hide.  This distance can be negotiated by oneself or with assistance depending on the physical strength of an individual. 

If one ignores or has finished with the hide diversion, the main pathway ascends up the Kloof parallel to the stream.  The tarred section is left behind.  The gradient is gentle enough for a few hundred metres and one passes the vlei and through woodland.  Eventually one comes to a steeper rise as the path ascends up to a dam wall that breaches the stream and forms a small pond.  Here a wheelchair user will require a bit of assistance to negotiate both the gradient and the tilt of the pathway.  From the pond there are other walking routes moving further up the Kloof and into the woodland on the steep slopes of the other side of the stream, but these routes are not realistically accessible to persons in wheelchairs.

Mathys Roets:

Op die stadium is die toegangklikheid vir ons paraplee baie goed. Ek dink dit is ideale omgewing om so bietjie jouself uit te daag en buite lewe te geniet. Dit is heel doenbaar sonder te veel moeilike dinge en kan baie help met bietjie oefen terwyl mens omgewing geniet. Uit die aard van die saak praat ek namens myself. Ek raai altyd ouens aan wat so bietjie onfiks is of quadrapliee om iemand saam te bring om saam te stap. Die bult boontoe is nogal moeilik as mens nie gewoond is nie. Selfs vir die stoter is dit uitdagend.

Nogmaals baie dankie vir die birdhide wat rerig baie goed werk vir rolstoele.

Mathys

 

Crawling – A blog post by Simon Tickle

Contribution by a friend that visited the Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve, and spent some time with a local, Jeannie:

“The ground is my friend. For someone who spends so much of his time in the air, the feeling of a secure surface comforts me as a mother’s hug soothes a child.

Since becoming an adult I have maintained a respectable distance between me and the ground as befits a grown-up conforming to public dignity, but a recent acquaintance has caused me to reconsider my attitude and revert to the horizontal.
 
Jeannie loves to crawl. She crawls through the grass and the undergrowth, seeing things that are missed or trampled underfoot by the vertical adherents. It’s a whole other world down here where the small things are. In the words of Sebastian the Crab (The Little Mermaid, Walt Disney) and as echoed by Jeannie, “Darlin’ it’s better, Down where it’s wetter, Take it from me!”

Casual Day 2013

Moreletakloof Nature Reserve, Helios Street, Moreletapark, Pretoria would like to invite the elderly, persons in wheelchairs as well as the blind, to come out to our very special reserve for Casual Day, on the 6th of September, from 09:00 till 13:00, to see what we can offer you. We will have a map available at the gate, so that you can see where the tarred road and the other off-road pathways are.
You will be able to go down into the reserve, on a tarred road, or if you are fit you can make use of our off-road pathways, that was evened out so that you can go there with a friend, and see what beautiful piece of nature is available for you to visit.

Blind people enjoy the pathways because they can come close to nature and feel and hear all the birds and the many animals, like Blesbuck, Zebra, Springbuck and Impala.

Casual  Day is a special day, please make use of this invitation, on the 6th September or you can even come to the reserve on Saturday, the 7th, we are open from 06:00 till 18:00.
Please do not go in on your own, bring a friend with you.

You can also visit our brand new bird Hide, next to the Rademeyer spruit, under the big old Wild Peach and White Stinkwood trees. Clear signage on the roads and pathways.

Contact Jeannie 082 9274673 or info@moreletakloof.co.za

Moreletakloof Casual Day

A birdwatcher from Maidstone in the UK writes about the Moreleta Kloof

Moreletakloof is a small private nature reserve to the southeast of Pretoria, South Africa. The reserve claims some wonderful birds with Red-chested Flufftail and Ovambo Sparrowhawk on their list.

The guard on the gate let me in at 06.00 while it was still dark. It was cold too. I had 3 layers, gloves and a hat but found myself wishing I had more….

To read the rest of this post please visit;

http://redgannet.blogspot.com/2010/08/moreletakloof-johannesburg-jnb.html