Environmental Landscape Design Specialist

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Coastal Dune Restoration Isipingo Beach

This was a very large project
that would not have been possible without the full co-operation and ingenuity of our plant production facility at Durban North which produced the extremely large number of plants that were required.

I did the motivation for funds to undertake this project as well as all the design, planning and supervised the implementaion while employed by the Parks Department of the Durban City Council

Approximately 1 kilometer of dune reconstruction was undertaken on the very exposed and windblown beach north of the Isipingo River.

The total area rehabilitated was huge it was considerably larger than the area of the dunes rehabilitated at Ansteys Beach as a result of it being very much wider to fill the area where the original dune had once been. My design allowed for a fore dune, middle dune and main dune which were re-constructed all in one operation. Many lessons learned during the restoration of the coastal dunes at Ansteys Beach a few kilometres futher north where put to great advantage.

This area was however a far greater challenge to rehabilitate because of the huge size and the need to obtain and propagate very large numbers of plants and then to find a way to transport them along the beach to where they were to be planted. This was probably the lesser of the two greatest challenges, the other was that there was no remnant of a dune neither was there the protection from the strong onshore wind that the bluff headland seen in the background gave the dune restoration project at Anstey Beach.

Finally this whole area was planted up in the cooler winter months using our regular grass cutting and maintenance staff without adversly affecting our routing maintenance operation which was something of a miracle and again could not have been achieved if it was not for the by in of all the staff involved which is quite something for a local municipality.

Coastal Dune Restoration at Ansteys Beach

isipingo 1

As one can see when I started this project there was nothing but beach sand and a few dead trees, there was no foredune left whatsoever

pingo 2

The logs lying on the beach were brought in to help provided turbulence in the airflow so as to decrease the wind velocities close to the ground as well as to trap wind blow seed and detritis. This phtograph and the one above give some appreciation of the large width of the area being rehabilitated, the elevated walkway between the two rows of shade cloth coveredd fencing, the front fence being barely visible in the distance, indicates the position of the fore dune, the vast area to the left of the clearly visible fence and beyond indicates the area that was to be rehabilitated to middle and main dune.

pingo 3

Here one can see how effective my stratergy was, here one can see self sown seedlings of Gazania rigens as well as leaves and other organic detritis which helped to increase the organic content and fertility of the pure beach sand

ping 4

In the foredune area shadecloth and brushwood was used very effectively to help break the reduce the velocity of the wind close to the ground so as to reduce the amount of wind drifted sand allowing the plants to estblish without being destroyed by the wind or being covered by the wind blown beach sand. Most of the areas were planted up with predominately Chrysanthemoides monililfera with lesser amounts of Carpobrotus dimidiata, Ipomoea pes-caprae and Gazania rigens

Pingo 5

Wood chips were spread over large areas that were being restored to help reduce the temperature of the soil,retain moisture as well as to prevent the sand from being blown by the wind as in this photograph. The wood chips also acted as a trap for windblown seed as well as being a slow release fertiliser and finally adding organic matter to the pure beach sand in which the plants had been planted

pingo 6

This area has been planted with a pure stand of Gazania rigens which have been planted into pure beach sand, they were irrigated and fertilised with mineral fertiliser until they had become established

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This page was created on 27.08.05
This page was last updated on 25.10.13