We have set our date for the Friends of Lions Head and Signal Hill (FLASH) friends group AGM. Please diairise Friday 5th May starting at 18h00. We will as usual have an interesting speaker (watch this space!) and will let you know once we have received confirmation. The venue will be the Fresnaye Sports Club in Bantry Bay.
Apart from the Chairpersons' report and financial matters we would like to hear from our members. What do you think can we do differently for members and also suggestions or confirmation about where FLASH is headed. We turn 21 this year and it is a good time to celebrate, reflect back and look forward.
Snacks will be served with a cash bar
Did you know that Lions Head is probably the most walked peak in Africa? We recently did a count over a 4 week period and we were astonished at the results. On average during the week, about 600 people walk on Lions Head between 08h00 and 17h00. This is increased by another approximately 200 folk who walk up to watch the sunset / sunrise. On weekends the volume triples to on average 1,600 on Saturday and Sunday. We have also conducted 3 full moon night counts and on average (between 16h30 and 17h30) 800 walkers ascend Lions Head. These volumes are astounding and with this comes increased wear and tear on the maintained paths, additional informal paths (leading to erosion) and of course more litter.
We encourage everyone who walks on Lions Head to bring down what you take up and to greet all your fellow walkers with a smile while you wait at the chains or ladders.
Our calendar of activities for the first quarter of 2017 (March to May) has been updated. We have a variety of walks this quarter that should cater for all tastes. All details on our activities page
Report back from Annabel on last Saturdays' walk
Ten of us including Fabian from Switzerland, started from the Fresnaye Sports Club and worked our way up next to the gum trees onto Maskew path from where we walked to the Kramat. We then followed the contour path which takes one to the start of the jeep track from where you can go all the way to the top. Fabian was tempted to walk up Lion's Head and as there were quite a lot of people as usual, we allowed him to leave our group. There were a few drops of rain on two occasions but not enough to really get wet!!. Unfortunately because of the misty conditions we did not have the spectacular views. We arrived at FSC three hours later happy to have walked our beautiful Lion's Head.
The clean up of the Lions Head and Signal Hill area on Saturday 13th Feb was a great success. About 50 to 70 people were involved including SanParks and members of the Friends. It is quite astounding how much litter was collected:-
Lions Head footpaths and parking = 46 rubbish bags + 1 set of bedsprings
Signal Hill to scout camp = 11 rubbish bags and 18 bags with empty bottles of alcohol
Graffiti removed from Wallys cave and on top of Lions Head
Clearly we will need to do this on a regular basis and a big shout out to Love our Trails for the initiative!
We will be having our annual general meeting at 18h00 on the 8th April at the Fresnaye Sports club and all members are welcome to attend. Once all the formalities are completed we have a guest speaker who has kindly accepted our invitation to speak at our AGM. Gigi from CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers) will be joining us - she was one of the CREW team that found a plant on Lions Head last seen in 1940. It promises to be an interesting evening!
Our first calender of activities for 2016 is now out! Have a look at at the calendar in the activities tab and book these in your dairy.
Friends of Lions Head Facebook page
We have just created a facebook page for the Friends of Lions Head and Signal Hill. Our objective is to enable our members to post pictures and comments relevant to Lions Head and Signal Hill and to use the page as another medium of communication. We would be keen to get your feedback as to how we can improve your experience on facebook as well as our web site. Drop us a line!
Friends of Lions Head facebook page
Litter litter litter
The problem of litter on mountain paths and associated environments is not limited to South Africa. A recent report about litter in the mountains of Scotland can be read here Litter on Scottish Mountains
The recent clean up at the base of Lions Head by Friends of Lions Head and SanParks resulted in 20 bags of rubbish being removed. SanParks and a group of dedicated hikers do a weekly clean up from the top of Lions Head to the parking lot at the bottom. On average 3 grocery bags of rubbish are collected every week - after full moon nights this increases to 4. The majority of rubbish collected comprises tissues, cigarette butts and plastic bottles. Orange and banana peels are also thrown on the ground based on the fact that they are bio-degradeable. Orange peels take up to 6 months to decompose while banana peels 3 to 4 weeks. These items are alien to the environment and detract from the "unspoilt" beauty that attracts people to nature areas.
Lions Head clean up - latest
Members of Friends of Lions Head with representatives from SANParks at Top Road Fresnaye following a clean up on parts of Lions Head on Saturday 14 November. Around 20 bags of rubbish were collected together with other items such as old carpets, chairs and electrical goods which had been dumped there. The main area cleaned was above Nettleton Road towards Ave St Leon. This was part of a series of clean-ups organised by the group in association with SANParks
Year end Social
The date for our social event has been finalised. Diarise Friday December 4th as an event not to be missed. Our chairperson Ralph Roseman will be talking about his trip to Ethiopia. The group visited the picturesque Arab medieval town of Harar and an intrepid few did a 6 day hike in the Bale mountains which included bagging a 4377m peak.
The event will be held at the Fresanye Sports Club, 15 Avenue St Barthomolew (top of Avenue Normandie)
Further details on our activities page.
NEWLANDS FOREST HIKE
on 4 July 2015
By Tessa and Nic Van Rooyen
Start ‘em young – that’s our motto when it comes to children and hiking, so as soon as Nic and I received the FLASH newsletter and saw that Sidney’s Newlands Forest hike on 4 July would occur during the winter school holidays we invited our two grandsons to join us. We ended up on the day with 2 grandsons + 2 of their friends + our 11-year-old niece joining us = 5 youngsters, all keen to go. It was quite nippy to start with, but the young ‘uns were not put off. We told them we would stop for a break to snack at “MacDonald’s” (the lovely wooden round table and benches on the Contour Path) and they fell for the ruse lock, stock and barrel. The sandwiches and apples we provided them with were no doubt a poor substitute for what they had expected!
The kids were like young racehorses at the start, champing at the bit to get going, so much so that Nic had to call them to order once or twice. However, we were delighted to be able to report back to the respective parents after returning them safely home that Sidney had said they were all very well behaved young people.
The hike was magical, consisting in total of 21 people. We saw lots of Metalasia muricata and Gisela pointed out a fabulous bush of Erica baccans and explained that baccans was Latin for cup, which the flower resembles. When we finished the hike at 1 pm, all the kids asked Nic “When can we do this again?” Thanks to Sidney for a wonderful morning. #See photographs on pages 3 and 4.
The Newlands Forest Hike – Snacking at ‘MacDonald’s’ on the Contour Path
The young ‘racehorses’ rest up on the rocks
Every walk is different: the varying terrain of Newlands Forest
FRESNAYE BOWLING CLUB
The Fresnaye Bowling Club welcomes all who would like to try out Bowls for the first time, either through attending one of the club’s “Fun Days”, or making arrangements to try out the sport individually. Several Friends of Lion’s Head members attended the last Fun Day in May.
Friends of Lion’s Head has been involved with Fresnaye Sports Club for many years with monthly Committee meetings being held at the Club, as well as Annual General Meetings and other functions. The Club is also a convenient meeting-place for many of FLASH’s walks.
Paying your FLASH Subscription
Due to high bank charges of R20-00 per transaction, we ask that you pay your membership fee of R50-00 in one of two ways:
- EFT to our bank account: Standard Bank Sea Point, Account no 07 474 594 8. Please give your name as reference for us.
- Cash to the leader of the walk. Please make sure that the walk leader makes a note of your name so that the Treasurer knows who has paid.
If you choose to pay by cheque or go to the bank to make a deposit, please add R20-00 to your payment, i.e. pay R70-00 – R50-00 being your membership fee, and R20-00 the bank fee. Once again, please give your name as reference.