Robert Dempster

Resident in Pietermaritzburg (PMB)!
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*** Welcome to my PMB blog, the umpteenth! ***

The Cascades Stream
Exposed by DUCT
Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust

2 March 2019

This blog is a follow-up on my previous blog entitled,
The Nonsuch Road Sewer - uMsunduzi is knee deep

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have walked up and down Nonsuch Road (near the top of Town Bush Road) most days of the year in the evening with our dogs for the past 16 years. What I did not mention was that I was actually walking our dogs and at that time I seldom came across another walker or runner and so was able to allow the dogs to run free.

So what has changed since then. 1) I now seldom come across signs that a porcupine had been struck by a car. Sad for the five of six porcupines that were involved, and also that it probably means that there are now fewer porcupines in the area. 2) I do not see buck as often as I used to, also probably because there are now fewer buck around. I would guess that the Victoria Country Estate that was established in the region during the past 16 years is probably partly responsible for that. 3) The Waltdorf complex that bounds Nonsuch Road for the first kilometer on the one side of the road has cleared and grassed the opposite side of the road that bounds their property. 2) There are now a significant number of local folk who use Nonsuch Road for recreational purposes in terms of walking, running, various forms of cycling and bird watching.

Once you are beyond the Waltdorf property and across the low level bridge the road runs adjacent to the Cascades stream and that is also the area that I presume is responsible for the name of the stream. I would assume that it would have also been the area were families picnic'd years ago. Beyond that there is a steep little climb and the road moves away from the stream and runs adjacent to one of the Queen Elizabeth Park boundaries before reaching the Africa Enterprise gate. While the stream is never that far from the road it has not been visible given the extent to which the area is overgrown with mostly alien vegetation.

Well that has now changed thanks to the efforts of DUCT, While it is still not easy to reach the stream along this stretch of Nonsuch Road, the stream is visible in two distinct places because of small waterfalls that are now visible. Water falls that I have been unaware of despite walking up Nonsuch Road almost every day for the past sixteen years. The four photographs shown below show the both the extent of the clearing that has taken place and the two waterfalls. Getting into positions from which the photographs could be taken was not a simple task as it involves walking over what is now a woven Mauritius Thorn mat just waiting to snag your legs.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, DUCT is doing a great job. What will be done with the Mauritius Thorn mat remains to be seen, as does whether the area will now be kept clear of aliens.

Since moving across to the Town bush side of town from Hayfields twenty years ago I have remain fascinated by what life must have been like in this are during the first 100 years of Pietermaritzburg's existence. There must still be folk around who could tell that story, and and I would urge anyone who could or could assist someone else to do so, to do exactly that.)

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