The Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife Estate has continued its drive to rehabilitate the natural trees and plants on the development by erecting eco-tunnels.
The first in the programme has been completed and is operational, already growing various shrubs which will be placed where they are required around the estate.
Homeowners’ Association chairman Ian Hughes says their objective is to contribute to the sustainability of the indigenous trees and bush in the area through plant rehabilitation in these greenhouses.
“This tunnel will predominantly be used to grow trees and shrubs as we want to cover as many of the open areas on the estate as possible,” says Hughes.
“As this was previously a farm, there are many places where trees and bushes were cleared for grazing and we want to work towards getting indigenous plants in those areas so that the natural flora is again dominant.
“Whenever we get a chance to save trees or bushes when plots are being cleared for construction, we will bring those plants to grow in the nursery for replanting.”
To increase their collection of plants, Hughes says any residents in Port Elizabeth who are clearing plots are welcome to contact them.
“If the plants or trees they clear are indigenous to the area, we will come to remove them and rehabilitate them for use on the estate.”
Estate general maintenance supervisor Hugh Wiblin says the tunnel irrigation operates through an aquaponics system.
“We have a pond connected to an irrigation system in the tunnel and the fish in the pond defecate in the water, which provides the necessary nutrients to assist in growing the plants,” he says.
“It’s a closed loop system so there is not a lot of maintenance and all you really have to do is to open the taps once a day and ensure that any weeds are removed.”
The aquaponics pond is fed by grey water from the estate, which is also being used for watering the golf course.
Hughes says they will assess the success of the first tunnel, which was set up with several vegetable seedlings as well, before deciding on a second one.
“This first one is mainly to help us grow the trees and bushes that we want to plant around the estate but we are definitely considering a second tunnel for use by the residents,” he says.
“The idea behind that would be to enable them to have an opportunity to grow plants for placement on their own plots, and that is something which is definitely in demand.”