The aim with the Moreleta Kloof Discovery and Sensory trail development project is to develop a 2 Kilometre long discovery and sensory walking trail inside the Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve in the Eastern Suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa.
The project is located in the Eastern Suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa inside the Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve at 60 Helios Street (GPS – 25º 48’ 49. 94” S and 28 º 17’ 15. 89” E) that is one of the reserves that is owned by the City of Tshwane and managed and operated by the department of Nature Conservation of the Tshwane City Council.
The area that is currently known as the Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve was part of the initial farm that belonged to the Rademeyer Family that farmed cattle in the area. The farm was subdivided after the death of Mr Rademeyer and the current portion was later owned be Mr Marneweck. The farmhouse was constructed in 1903 and although it is utilized today as a restaurant the building is still in the original form. The farm and buildings were transferred to the Council from the Estate of the last owner who requested that the Kloof must be kept as a Green Zone and that no residential developments must be done is the Kloof.
Hiking trails were developed in the late 90’s and small amounts of game were also introduced. Currently Zebra, Blesbuck, Impala, Bushbuck and Springbok can be seen roaming in the Kloof. The Kloof is now under the management of the Department of Nature Conservation of the Tshwane Metro Council. The hiking trails are open 7 days a week for access to the public to enjoy the trails and the beauty of nature.
The organization, “The Friends of Moreleta Kloof” was entered in the Register of Companies on the 12th May 2008, with the registration number:2001997/015983/08 (Association Incorporated under section 21) and is working closely with the Department of Nature Conservation of the Tshwane Metro Council. One of the directors of the organization utilizes the Kloof every morning for walks and also spends time over weekends with her grandchildren in the Kloof and at the restaurant and surrounding areas. During a morning walk, the thought came to her that it is so easy for people without disability to walk, see, smell and touch the plants and experience nature so closely, but how do disabled people enjoy it. This thought let her to start asking and doing an investigation she realized that the opportunity for disabled people to enjoy and experience nature that same way are very limited and normally facilities catering for the disabled are far apart and take some travel to get to. The Directors of “The Friends of Moreleta Kloof” decided to develop an easily accessible route inside the Kloof that will allow disabled people the opportunity to experience nature closer in an area situated almost in the centre of Tshwane.
Two people in wheelchairs were asked to get involved in the planning and support of the wheelchair trail. Mr Chris Patton is the Project Manager: Business Development Unit of SANPARKS and also a wheelchair user and Mr Mathys Roets are a South African musician and celebrity that became a wheelchair user two years ago after a motorcycle accident. Mathys Roets are currently acting as the custodian of the project and both Chris and Mathys are closely involved with the project team in the planning of the project.
A project team was compiled and are made up of volunteers from different corporate organizations and private companies, all with specialist skills and knowledge regarding a project of this nature. The project was officially initiated on 29 October 2010 when a project charter was submitted to the Department of Nature Conservation of the Tshwane Metro Council during an Executive meeting and approval was given by the Department.
Project Scope and Development
The project will be executed to develop a paved hiking trail in the Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve that can be utilized by people in wheelchairs, with other disabilities such as sight and hearing and also by any user of the Kloof as a fully integrated and accessible route with the other trails in the Kloof. A route survey has been conducted and the GPS imagery and plotted data modelled to determine the angles and slopes that need to be levelled to ensure a smooth and flat surface is created. The trail will consist of a 1.5 meter wide concrete paved surface laid on a sub base of compacted sand and stone. The discovery trail will have a very low curb to ensure that the animals can still move over the trail without been restricted but also allowing people with sight disabilities to utilize their guide rods to follow the path. The length of the trail will be 2 kilometres in length one way and will allow the user to travel in both directions, thus making it a 4 kilometre total distance. The trail will be clearly marked for easy and safe navigation for the user and will still be accessible to any person visiting the Kloof with the need to discover nature and utilize their senses to experience nature. Certain areas of the trail will be kept as natural ground to also allow the user to experience the sense of feeling the sand under their feet. See the attached Google Map with the detail of the trail overlain onto the existing ground trails.
A wooden bird hide will be constructed next to the stream at the reeds where an abundance of birds can be seen and heard. The hide will be built on stilts with wood to ensure that it blends in with the natural environment and will be accessible for all users form both sides with installed seating to sit and view the birds. A toilet equipped for access by all users will be constructed halfway on the route and will be a dry system to eliminate the contamination of ground water and spillage. To allow the user the opportunity to discover and utilize as much as possible of their senses, a quite rest and meditation area will be created next to the stream where the user would be able to spend quite time and hear, see, smell and feel nature close to them.
The trail will be constructed using portions of the current trail and no new ground will be disturbed during construction, therefore negating the necessity for an EIA and also submission of an EMP. This was investigated by Dr Peter Aucamp from PTERSA for the project team based on the requirements as stipulated by the NEMA Acts and regulations and confirmed that an EIA is not required.
Detailed drawings and design parameters as well as specifications and a Bill of Quantities are available in the documents linked to below.