Some years ago, I remember people asking the then Chairperson “What is the conservancy going to do about ………….?” His response would always be: “The Conservancy is AN AREA not a person and therefore cannot DO anything, but the COMMUNITY CAN…..” This sentiment is borne out by the Cambridge Dictionary with its definition of a conservancy: ‘An area of land kept in its natural state, especially for wild animals and plants to live in and be protected.’
Our little coastal village of Pennington is such an area. We are so very lucky to have, within very close proximity, ocean, forests, rivers & estuaries, grasslands, wetlands and some very interesting flora and fauna all worthy of our protection and that is essentially what the Pennington Conservancy Committee attempts to do with the help of volunteers. We are fortunate in that we have some very committed, enthusiastic and knowledgeable Community members who help us in achieving, arguably, one of our main objectives: ‘To protect, manage and improve the environment through the application of sound conservation practices, including the eradication of alien vegetation, the removal of snares and the creation and maintenance of trails.’
We have a few community and environmental projects that will always be at the forefront of our activities: -
Removal of snares in conjunction with Snare Aware;
The Beach Café @ Impithi.
These projects are discussed in more detail below, to give you an idea of what is involved and perhaps encourage you to join us in beautifying and indigenising our village, as well as preserving the natural environment of coastal and riverine forest, bush and grasslands
Do not hesitate to contact us. should you wish to support the Pennington Conservancy by becoming involved in any of these projects and / or join the Conservancy, Alternatively, you can complete the membership application at the foot of this page and we will contact you.
Please join us, to support our many projects for preserving and promoting the flora and fauna of Pennington
A lovely area of conservation significance in Pennington and is an example of how wildlife requires intact habitats and space to survive. Nkomba is situated on the banks of the Nkomba River. Perhaps there was, in days gone by, a natural population of inKomba Palms growing along the river. Today these graceful 8 m multi-stemmed palms are only found along cliff faces in Pondoland.
Nkomba is 6.2 ha and comprises swamp forest (critically endangered), coastal forest, riparian zones and flood plains with & without reed beds and an estuary.
In July 1988 Dr David Johnson of the then Natal Parks Board visited Nkomba and had this to say: “Your proposed reserve is a little gem, well worth preserving, and indeed could turn into a tourist attraction.”
John Jerman, acting on behalf of the Pennington Environmental Group, led negotiations to have Nkomba registered as ‘A Site of Conservation Significance’ and more recently, Evelyn Heunis and Carolyn Schwegman (John Jerman’s daughter) were instrumental in having Nkomba zoned as ‘Conservation’ in the Umdoni Town Planning Scheme.
And so today, our “little gem” continues to thrive. Carolyn continues: “The process of rehabilitating an area from a dysfunctional and degraded state to a habitat which is able to support a variety of life is a long but definitely rewarding one.” Today Nkomba boasts a lovely picnic area under the Fig Tree (planted by Ann Jerman in the early 1990’s), an eco-loo, a bird hide on the banks of the Nkomba River, a pont to take you across the river to the south side of Nkomba from where you can enjoy a slow stroll to the Beach Café and numerous trails, including Sea Bean Trail, home to the endangered Entada Rheedii. Go along and enjoy all the sights and sounds of nature with family and friends. This gem is right on your doorstep! If you would like a key to the enviro-loo or need more information,contact Mary on 083 441 5084
We are currently identifying natural areas in Pennington that have an impact on the Community and are in need of some care and attention. We have identified the following, but if you know of an area that requires maintenance and management in respect of the natural environment, please let us know:
Makamati Stream from Botha Place to Umdoni South;
The beach access walkways at Nkomba, Postman’s Gully and Beach Café;
The stream (stormwater drainage) running through the municipal owned property at Relton Hall. The Pennington Recreation Club maintain the stream on their part of the property;
Nkomba South Bank;
The garden on the corner of Botha Place and Impathle; and
Impithi Dunes (the grounds surrounding the Beach Café and down to the sea). This forms part of the Dune System
In addition to the above, we have agreed to care for and maintain the paved pathway along Pennington Drive. Whilst not a natural area, it does have an impact on all visitors to and residents of Pennington and perhaps more importantly, affords the Pennington Conservancy with some much-needed exposure!