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KZN conservation jewel sets pace again

6 April 2005

THE Greater St Lucia B Wetland Park has been badly scarred in places. Along roads and on the slopes of coastal dunes are patches where only tree stumps remain, with such new growth as there is finding it hard to cover the earth.

But it is not all bad. The scenes of devastation are where commercial plantations have been removed to allow back the natural habitat.

Already there are spots where kudu browse among the indigenous plants that have replaced the pines and bluegums. And apparently water is again starting to seep from the ground in old wetlands that used to be sucked dry by these thirsty exotics.

The changes mark yet another turning point for a park that is an enigma of South African conservation.

Having barely survived some of the threats that have come its way over the years, these days it is at the forefront of meeting the challenges presented by our new society.

It has come a long way. Its original St Lucia parcel of land, now forming part of a protected area patchwork of 16 sections, has pride of place as South Africa

Sunday TribuneLeon Marshall

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