Grotto Bay Private Nature Reserve (GBPNR) is committed to minimising any negative effects of their activities on the environment (natural, cultural, historical and aesthetic). GBPNR ensures that their activities are conducted in an environmentally responsible manner and promotes the safe proceedings of any action (intended or unintended) in the Nature Reserve.
Grotto Bay Home Owners Association (GBHOA) and its residents are committed to the preservation of the environment and appointed The Nature Conservation Corporation (NatConCorp) to compile an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for Grotto Bay Private Nature Reserve (GBPNR) in December 2007. Using the existing information from past management plans and new exploratory work, the EMP was compiled. Utilising the EMP the GBHOA began implementation of an EMP in 2008.
The Grotto Bay Conservation Centre
To ensure that Grotto Bay conforms to the rules and regulations outlined in the granting of Private Nature Reserve status the GBHOA have saved funds every year to build a conservation Centre on the estate. This project has been completed in 2011. Access to the site for the general public and members is via a gate and compacted road next to the dump area, along the Eskom lines.
The Nature Reserve contains important fragments of Swartland Shale Renosterveld, a vegetation type considered 100% irreplaceable in the original Cape Action Plan for People and the Environment (CAPE). It is classified as Critically Endangered in the 2004 National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment. Another variation of vegetation includes the West Coast Strandveld vegetation, (Veld Type 34 of Acocks, 1975). There are two types found on consolidated coastal dunes, the Maytenus lucida – Crassula ammophila community at its southern limits, and interleaved between the northern limits of the Olea exasperata – Euphorbia caput-medusa community.
The change from Strandveld to Western Sand Plain Fynbos with an increase in distance from the sea is associated with an increase in Restionaceae, Willdenowia incurvata and Thamnochortus erectus. The main community in this area is the Willdenowia incurvata – Aspalathus ternata community. Leucospermum tomentosum is found abundantly here and is classified as ‘rare’. Based on the occurrence of this species, any destruction of this community should be carefully evaluated, as rare species do not usually occur on their own. This community occurs
inland of the Strandveld up to the R27 highway and is associated with deep, highly leached, acid soils (Boucher, 1989).
Exotic trees, plants and grasses of an invasive nature are banned at Grotto Bay. This applies especially to Kikuyu grass, which may under no circumstances be brought onto the estate. Where Kikuyu lawn has inadvertently been planted, it is to be removed in its entirety.
Alien invasive plant species are known to decrease the biodiversity of natural vegetation as they compete for nutrients, water, space and light. They also have better dispersal mechanisms and tend to have a shorter juvenile period to the natural vegetation, which allows them to get a foothold in an area before the natural vegetation is sexually mature and can multiply.
The eradication of alien vegetation has been a priority for the Estate and over the past 3 years major steps have been made to restore the fynbos and natural vegetation.
The success of the alien clearing project is clearly indicated by the general absence of invasive Acacia saligna and A. cyclops.
For a detailed list of vegetation Occurring with the Reserve refer to the Grotto Bay EMP.
Restoration of vegetation of jeep tracks is a slow process as tracks made years ago before the law banned vehicles from beaches and dunes, have still not fully recover despite the teams ongoing rehabilitation efforts.
When free walking in the reserve visitors may discover the treasures of secret middens used by the Koisan people hundreds of years ago. Here you will find visible signs of the communities who lived off the land and sea. Nothing may be tampered with or removed from these sites.
It is the intent to build a Conservation Centre on the estate. This will showcase the estates treasures, hiking path details, provide information on fauna and flora and other information pertaining to this unique site.
The slow process of raising funds to erect the centre is gaining momentum and construction is proposed for 2010.
Please be aware of the “Restricted activity” within the Grotto Bay Private Nature Reserve, defined as follows:
(a)In relation to a specimen of a listed threatened or protected species, means please that no domestic cats are permitted on the entire Estate.
Dogs are allowed within the confines of private property only, or on a leash on the roads and paths of the housing estate only. NO dogs are permitted into the reserve area beyond the north/south firebreak
(i) hunting, catching, capturing or killing any living specimen of a listed threatened or protected species by any means, method or device whatsoever, including searching, pursuing, driving, lying in wait, luring, alluring, discharging a missile or injuring with intent to hunt, catch, capture or kill any such specimen;
(ii) gathering, collecting or plucking any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species;
(iii) picking parts of, or cutting, chopping off, uprooting, damaging or destroying, any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species;
(iv) importing into the Republic, including introducing from the sea, any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species;
(v) exporting from the Republic, including re-exporting from the Republic, any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species;
(vi) having in possession or exercising physical control over any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species;
(vii) growing, breeding or in any other way propagating any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species, or causing it to multiply;
(viii) conveying, moving or otherwise translocating any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species;
(ix) selling or otherwise trading in, buying, receiving, giving, donating or accepting as a gift, or in any way acquiring or disposing of any
specimen of a listed threatened or protected species; or
(x) any other prescribed activity which involves a specimen of a listed threatened or protected species; and
(b) in relation to a specimen of an alien species or listed invasive
(i) importing into the Republic, including introducing from the sea, any
specimen of an alien or listed invasive species;
(ii) having in possession or exercising physical control over any specimen of
an alien or listed invasive species;
(iii) growing, breeding or in any other way propagating any specimen of an alien or listed invasive species, or causing it to multiply;
(iv) conveying, moving or otherwise translocating any specimen of an
alien or listed invasive species;
"species" means a kind of animal, plant or other organism that does not normally interbreed with individuals of another kind, and includes any subspecies, cultivar, variety, geographic race, strain, hybrid or geographically separate population;
(a) any living or dead animal, plant or other organism;
(b) a seed, egg, gamete or propagule or part of an animal, plant or other organism capable of propagation or reproduction or in any way
transferring genetic traits;
(c) any derivative of any animal, plant or other organism; or
(d) any goods which-
(i) contain a derivative of an animal, plant or other organism; or
(ii) from an accompanying document, from the packaging or mark or label, or from any other indications, appear to be or to contain a derivative of an animal, plant or other organism.