Dams Newsletter July 2008
continues to a popular venue on most weekends and we are delighted
that the Bulawayo community at large has taken to the project.
It is not only individuals and families but school and community
groups who have become regular visitors. Recently the braai area
was redeveloped and a small childrens’ playing centre has
been created near the tearoom. The last has proved to be extremely
popular with youngsters and we wish to develop it further. If
you can assist with old playground equipment please let us know.
We will arrange to collect and recondition where necessary.
other areas things are progressing, albeit a little slower
than we may have hoped. Visitors will see that work has
started on revamping the old tea room at the Lower Dam.
We hope that it will be in use by the end of July. Initially
it will operate over weekends (Friday-Sunday) and at other
times by prior arrangement.
boom is being erected at the Banff Road entrance. For this we
are grateful to Nimr & Chapman. Eventually a small charge
will be levied at the entrance to cover the costs of the guards
who look after the cars. Annual membership cards will also be
made available. We will keep you informed as we go along. At this
time entry is free but is at your own risk.
that the boom will be closed from sunset to sun rise. We apologise
to those late evening visitors but this is necessitated by security
issues and requests from other stakeholders.
is still amazing, especially along the banks of the Dams where
a combination of weedy thickets and emerging muds have attracted
several smaller species. Look for the waders and various herons.
fish eagle paid us a visit last week but the white-faced
duck have moved off to warmer climes. In their place a flock
of Sacred Ibis have taken up residence at the Upper Dam.
We aim to encourage the birdlife and promote interest in
birding amongst the many visitors.
With the onset
of winter fishing has become less attractive but several of our
regulars doggedly try their luck. A small fishing fee is charged
and this goes towards the salaries of the staff and other expenses
such as water and rates. However we are well short of the actual
costs and must express our most sincere thanks to several companies
and individuals who regularly assist in covering wages and make
donations in cash and kind.
crocodile in the Upper Dam (yes there is one and it is not
just one of the many legavaan) seems to be becoming a little
more brazen and we have had good sightings on several occasions
over the last month. Please beware. In particular we are
concerned where dogs have been encouraged to swim.
are steadily being improved under the watchful eye of Mr. &
Mrs te Velde. Several invasive species, most especially lantana
have been removed. Latana had more or less taken over large areas
along the stream between the two dams. We think we are winning
but it will be a long struggle. A number of picnic spots in this
section will be restored as soon as we have the manpower and materials.
lawns in front of the tearoom, subject to high visitor use
over the weekends, are beginning to look a little worn.
We are hoping to get reclaimed water from Bulawayo City
Council and to borrow a small pump to draw water from the
Lower Dam to water the grass. Can anyone assist?
dam it is likely to dry up again by October but this will allow
us to investigate and hopefully repair.
The Aloe Garden
has been revamped with most of the invasive plants removed and
the old paths cleared. It is well worth a visit at this time as
many of the aloes are flowering. The remaining plants will be
regrouped and split later in the year once we get the first rains
and they have finished flowering. Our thanks to Mr Roy Stephens
who has volunteered to oversee the reorganisation and naming of
the different species present.
has been updated and now enables you to view The Hillside Dams
from satellite. You can view either in Google Maps or if you have
Google Earth installed download the .kmz file online! http://www.hillsidedams.com
We the Hillside
Dams Conservancy must extend our most sincere thanks to the Bulawayo
Community at large. We appreciate your confidence in the project,
your assistance and simply your coming along to the Dams. It is
the support from you all that encourages us to keep going despite
Remember to check out the website
us comments, corrections and pictures!