Delwyn Pillay, a Seed Freedom activist and volunteer for Greenpeace Africa based in Durban, shares his Green Route 2018.
My 2018 Green Route starts within Durban Bay, said to be one of the largest ports in the world and the busiest in Africa. Within this industrial harbour, you can find a relatively tiny (about 20ha) nature reserve, the Bayhead Natural Heritage Site.
This green refuge protects at least three species of Mangroves (the last substantial patch of mangroves in the Bay) and coastal grassland. It is an open estuary and was once the largest mangrove swamp in KZN, but sadly is now completely surrounded by industrial development. This tiny gem is worth a visit and protection from further development, pollution by industrial waste, solid waste and invasive alien plants.
The next stop on my 2018 Durban Green Route is Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve (13,1km from Bayhead Natural Heritage Site). The 253 hectare ‘green lung‘ located in the suburb of Yellowwood Park offers refuge for Durban’s few renaming coastal forest and grassland habitats, which is home to many species of antelope, zebra and abundant birdlife.
Tucked away in the heart of Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, surrounded by giant Yellowwood trees, is Coedmore Castle a gracious old stone homestead (it was built by Dering Stainbank in 1885 as a family home). The castle has been in the family for four generations, and contains many of the original household contents, including furniture from the 19th century and old family portraits. Although donated to the state by Kenneth Stainbank, the family currently manages it. It is open to the public for guided tours, school outings and hire of the grounds for small weddings, functions and photography.
Next up (about 11,5km from the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve) is the Silverglen Medicinal Plants Nursery. The Nursery is situated within the Silverglen Nature Reserve. It’s said to be the largest medicinal plant nursery in South Africa, and contains an extensive collection of indigenous and medicinal plants.
Silverglen Nursery is an example of an environmental initiative on the African continent that connects with themes of biodiversity. Silverglen was established in 1980, by Geoff Nichols, the then Conservation Officer of the eThekwini Parks Department, and Protus Cele, an Inyanga (herbalist) who owns a successful muthi business in Umlazi Township. Nichols and Cele joined forces to address a vital need to start to propagate rare and threatened indigenous plants that were used for healing. In 1986, they started a project called The Silverglen Medicinal Plant Project.
Between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, 7km from the N3 you can find Enaleni a 10ha agro-ecological farm. A great site of learning the value of agro-diversity, heirloom food plants and the ecological and health benefits of growing your own food. The farm is open to visits and eating experience where guests get to explore the politics of taste and appetite as well as our food diversity. Food grown, harvested and transformed from a 350m radius of your table.
It’s a responsible way of eating local, with fewer food miles, zero post-harvest treatments and packaging. It’s fresh, healthy, clean, paged with stories of heritage, origin and cultivation, most of it hand prepared and celebrates a remarkable diversity of food and creativity. The esteemed host is Richard Haigh, the owner and builder of Enaleni Farm.
Roseway Waldorf School is on top of Alverstone Hill, a conservancy surrounded by farmsteads, fresh air and overlooking a green valley, just five minutes outside Hillcrest. The school has a completely organic food garden, using bio dynamic techniques. Huge varieties of crops are grown, and used in the school kitchen and the excess yield is sold to the parents. The school also hosts a Natural & Organic Night Market. The esteemed host is Rohinee Kalideen – a guru food grower who manages the school food garden.
Read Delwyn’s Durban Green Route for 2017 here Delwyn’s Greenpeace Route
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