Print About: Current Status

About - Current status

The reserve has been formally zoned as private open space. This allows for the reserve to be accessible to the public in a controlled fashion.

There are several reasons why formalising the area as a privately owned reserve is the preferred option. Uncontrolled public access comes with inherent risks. An open space without a formal management and maintenance structure lends itself to abuse and could degenerate into a potentially unsafe area. Proper management ensures the protection of indigenous flora and fauna; prevents pollution; reduces the impact of alien vegetation and ensures that the space is safe for recreation and educational initiatives.

With the management and conservation initiatives put in place by Heartland, the Reserve area is being continually improved to restore it to its pristine state, and maintain it. It is imperative that the Reserve be able to operate as a self-sustaining entity in time.

Under the guidance of Luke Strugnell, the EWT´s urban conservation manager at the Reserve, great progress has been made on several fronts, including the systematic removal of alien vegetation. This is an ongoing process (it is now a legal requirement to remove certain invasive alien species), as is the planting of indigenous trees around the reserve.

As part of Heartland´s enterprise development drive, two start-up companies are being incubated as service providers to the Modderfontein Reserve. Enterprise development is an important goal for Heartland and extends across a range of the company´s activities.

Various fauna and flora studies are being conducted to record animal and plant species in the Reserve and a monitoring system is being implemented to allow the EWT team to record changes at fixed points throughout the area over time. Mammals on the site include small buck such as steenbok, as well as black-backed-jackals. A bat survey has already been completed and studies are ongoing. Fish eagles and long-crested eagles are among the bird life in the Reserve.