Newsflash 20 August 2019

Dear Friends,

We thank Jonathan Leeming for his extremely professional presentations on Spiders, Scorpions and the “One World” concept. We all came away with a much greater understanding of how we should be caring for this precious earth of ours. There are some 100 000 venomous creatures in the world. South Africa has 2382 spider species of these only 18 are medically important. The national poison helpline: 086 155 5777

We learnt there really is an inborn fear of spiders, I should like to find out more about the mythology of them? Susan and team again did a marvellous job with the catering; we thoroughly recommend her services for your work or private function: 011 673 9353/ 082 408 3204 /

 The next event at Nylsvley will be a work party 6-8 September, here is the ‘job’ list:







Lower shelving in Jacana hide

Carpentry skills, saw, spirit level, hand drill, tape measure and helper



Touch up information signs in reserve

Sandpaper, brush, Cream enamel paint, varnish, white paint for wooden signs wording, brushes, rags,  turps etc.



Clear area around group camp of cacti, syringa and lantana.

Thick gloves, fork, secateurs, saw, herbicide in container and brush.



Tidy up round Boer War Memorial

Unfinished : Fork,  gloves



Look at gutters in group camp with regard to fixing them 




Experiment:  Clean timber/plastic tables at Spoonbill and Lapa with various cleaners

Handy Andy, Sunlight Liquid, Swipe, Vim  scrubbing brush scorer, cloths, bowl  for water



Oil Stemmers hide

Waxol (provided)  broom and hand brush, cloths, tray  for oil  (wear old clothes!)



Oil new long drop housing

Oil/mix (provided) broom, brush , cloths, tray for oil  (wear old clothes!)



Prepare personalities plot and lay pavers ( still waiting for permission)

Fork, secateurs,



Clean signage at front entrance

Cloths and water


 Please insert your name by your chosen ‘job’ and return ASAP. The cost will be R200 per person per night, the weekend will be self-catering and the tea station will be available. We encourage you to have supper with us at the Spoonbill on the Friday night (at your own expense and own drinks). Friends are also welcome to come and stay just for a holiday; the water birds are surprisingly good at the moment.

 We are very excited to present a new course over the weekend 11-13 October on Nylsvley’s insects, see attached info.

 Friends of Nylsvley are affiliated to WESSA; they produce an interesting magazine: ‘African Wildlife and Environment’ the digital version of Edition 72 is available either as a printable scroll down PDF   Click Here to download PDF

 WESSA also regularly sends out news under the heading ‘Legalbrief Environmental’ it is not always easy to forward them but I would suggest you keep an eye on the Articles tab of the Friends of Nylsvley website:

 The  WESSA Friends Forum when reps from all the Friends Groups in Northern Regions are invited to share their success and problems will be on Saturday 24 August at Rietvlei Nature Reserve from 08h30 please let Carol 082 772 2498 / know if you wish to attend.

 We welcome new members Martin & Dalena Beyers and family and Dawn Needham and thank the friend’s that recently paid their annual membership subscriptions.

Looking forward to spring!     With love from    Marion xxx

 Yours in conservation 

Marion Mengell

NoGo map for prospecting  mining in Limpopo Jul 2019

24 July 2019


Thrilled to announce that Nylsvley, the Nyl floodplain and most of the catchment has recently been gazetted in the LEDET bioregional plan as ‘critical biodiversity areas’ thus providing legal protection and any sort of prospecting or mining in not allowed. On the attached map nature reserves are coloured green the areas surrounding them, in our case most of the floodplain and adjacent catchments are coloured purple. Thanks to Dr Warwick Tarboton for this information. 

All are invited to attend the Wildlife and Environment Society’s 93rd Annual General meeting on Saturday 14 September at Misty Hills Lodge, Muldersdrift 08h30 for 09h00. The theme is:  Leaving no one behind in caring for the earth.  Antony Turton (water) and Bertus Louw (50/50) will be keynote speakers.

Lunch will be provided, booking is essential please contact:

                                   John Wesson 083 444 7649.   by 30 August.

 Rooms are still available for the Spiders, Scorpions and One World Presentations by Jonathan Leeming over the weekend 2-4 August, please book very soon.


Yours in conservation

 Marion Mengell

Tribute to Jo van Dijk

Jo, a gracious and kind lady, we salute her! Jo was the loyal supporter of husband Herman during his late life career as voluntary overseer at Nylsvley Nature Reserve from about the end of 1997 until early 2007…ten years. Jo prepared the little lunch packs just the same as when he was formally employed! Whenever Ron and I arrived at the reserve Jo and Herman were waiting for us, often with a cup of tea and always with some nice cookies or, best of all home-made shortbread!

Ron and I enjoyed birding outings with the couple and lots of social occasions including waiting together at Johannesburg Airport before flying to different destinations overseas!

The older staff members at Nylsvley remember Jo with great fondness and we remember her as a hardworking, kind, artistic in her way, generous and good person.

We thank the family and friends that loved and supported Jo in her last few years, we will miss her especially on our Birthdays which she always membered.

 11 grandchildren & 17 great grandchildren (with potential for more)!

 Marion Mengell

Project co-ordinator

Friends of Nylsvley
31 May 2019

4 July 2019


4 Roan calves were born just recently. Natasha (former OiC) who has now left the reserve will be thrilled but sorry to miss them!

A visitation by senior departmental members and representatives of the Development Bank of South Africa was expected on 2 July. They will be looking at replacing the campsite ablution blocks the re-roofing of the reserve gatehouse and hopefully the enviro centre/ museum that we would so love to see constructed.

Fire brakes are being made this year by scraping the ground; it will be interesting to see what grows afterwards. Special attention is being given to the boundaries with Deelkraal/ Vaalbos camp and on the other side at Vogelfontein.                  

I promise that it will be warmer at Nylsvley when we are there 2-4 August for the Spiders, Scorpions and the ‘One World’ weekend with Jonathan Leeming. The event includes a lunch time field outing picnic to the wilderness section. For more information about Jonathan go to: Please book soon.

FoN committee member John Sparrow will be leading a Geology walk on Smuts Koppie (hosted by Friends of Smuts House) on Saturday 20 July…all welcome please book with Cheryl: 083 376 1734 or Catherine: 083 442 8498. R50 per participant, meeting in front of Smuts House Museum (off Nelmapius Road Irene), 09h00 for a 09h30 start to the walk.

Syd Catton and Anton Cilliers will be attending a meeting in Modimolle on 9 July that the local Department of Environmental Affairs is setting up on Air Quality Awareness, good news for the Nyl floodplain. Thanx Gents.

When we are at Nylsvley in August I will find out from Sthembiso and Sinkie what work they would like us to do during the work party weekend 6-8 September, I know that signage still needs some attention and the shelving in the Jacana hide needs to be lowered. The weekend is self-catering and we recommend having supper at the Spoonbill Restaurant on the Friday evening. The cost is R200 per person per night staying the group camp. Holiday makers are also welcome to stay over and enjoy the reserve.

Upcoming events:

11-13 October: Insect training and survey with Elme Breytenbach

15-17 November: LBJ course with Geoff Lockwood.

24-26 January 2020: Woodland Bird Census…As this event is just a month after Christmas it would be appreciated if you would book early…thank you

Having promised warm weather at Nylsvley in August I have just remembered that I was there a few years ago on Women’s Day and it snowed!


PS: Please circulate flyer…Thank you

Yours in conservation

 Marion Mengell

Dear Friends,

The new grader is commissioned, we look forward to smooth roads in the reserve.

Thanks Julia for the pic.

Meso mammal Honey Badgers, probably a mother and offspring visiting a water hole in the wilderness section of Nylsvley Nature Reserve, thanks Natasha for the pic.

The bathroom benches for the group camp are presently sitting in our driveway! Will be delivered at the end of the month.


All the evidence supporting the appeal against platinum mining on the farm Volspruit

has been submitted to DMR plus the payment that had to go with it!

DMR has 30 days in which to respond, we have made a note of the date

and await with trepidation their reaction!


The estimated cost to install signage in the reserve that Ron made for free is about R4000.00, planning to install gradually as work schedules permits


Watch out for the Barn Owl in residence in the gatehouse to the reserve.


Places still available for the plant course 13-15 October

Cheers and God Bless Marion xxx

The replacement Crake Hide is a reality! with grateful thanks to Natasha for the pics, the Friends who sent donations after the great fires in September 2013, the architect, ‘Woodworx’ the Wendy House Company that constructed and installed the hide and Natasha Möller and staff at Nylsvley who prepared the site.

Benches, some of them saved from the fire, have been put in.

The handing over ceremony will be on Monday morning 28 August meeting at Vogelfontein at 09h00, followed by coffee and sandwiches at the Spoonbill Restaurant. Accommodation will be available in the group camp on the Sunday night before, all friends are invited, please let me know soon if you will be coming.

We still have a few places for the Meso-Mammals course with Ulrich Oberprieler from Friday 25-Sunday 27 August.

We are looking for an Environmental law practitioner who is willing to help us with the appeal process for the proposed platinum mine on the farm Volspruit near Makopane, anyone willing?