Des Green Trail

Many people have no doubt walked the Des Green Trail in the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve and wondered who Des Green was. Below is a small piece on Des written by Richard Cowling who knew him well.

Des Green was a long-time resident at Cape St Francis who played a pivotal role in the establishment of our reserve system. He spearheaded in the late 1990s the St Francis Open Space System, a proposed system of conservation areas based on a report that Richard Cowling commissioned. Essentially, SCOSS comprised the footprint of the existing reserve system. Des worked tirelessly to get SCOSS mainstreamed into municipal decision making and it was under his direction that the Kouga Municipality proclaimed the first parcel of the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve in the early 2000s. We are hugely indebted to the pioneering work of people such as Des and it is highly appropriate that the Des Green trail has been designated in the piece of the IBNR that he got proclaimed.

Below is a photo of Des shortly before he passed on in 2013.




Below are two bar charts summarising the data collected at one of the the camera trap in the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve. There are no worrying trends observed. The numbers of humans were a bit down in 2022 compared with the covid years when everyone became a exercise junkie during hard lock down. Bushbuck, Bushpig and Porcupine captures have bounced back nicely, though there appear to be  fewer sighting during daytime. This is probably due to the higher number of people using the reserves with their dogs meaning that the wildlife tends to hide in the day even if they are not nocturnal.

What is particularly pleasing is that the spike of cyclists using the trails illegally in 2018, 2019 and 2020 has dropped right back again so thanks to the St Francis cycling club encouraging their members to use the marked cycle tracks and much better cooperation from the community in general.

Appeal about illegal dumping in the reserves

On the negative side the dumping of garden refuse into the reserves by residents and their staff into the reserves has continued to increase and is reaching concerning levels. Grass cuttings and branches etc. from non-indigenous bushes and trees are not good compost and in fact have the opposite effect. Seeds are spread and the indigenous vegetation quickly comes under threat. Please desist from doing this and ask your staff to do so well if it applies to you


Please renew your membership or join FOSTER, All the details are on the website – without the support of our community we cannot keep the reserves in the shape that they are in.

We are having a technical problem when sending our renewal notices as it seems that they end in the spam folder, so please renew your membership if you think it’s due.

Many thanks.