This has been a fantastic year of co-operation with a spirit of Ubuntu among members of St Francis Field Estate who have become involved and unselfishly given of their time to ensure its smooth running and we, as a committee, would like to thank each and every one of you who has contributed to this success.

flora  and  faunaThe Field is looking better than it has for some time as a result of good rains (neither too much nor too little) and the abundance of flowers would have vied with those of Namaqualand in their profusion and colour this year. The flora and fauna around us continue to amaze and delight residents and visitors alike and members should make full use of this fantastic 280 ha Estate and get to know every facet of it.

The Fourcade Botanical Group members, who were invited to share the wonders of our development, were bewitched by the magic of the forest walk. Caryl Logie who leads the group enthused: “It is so encouraging to see this excellent example of coastal vegetation preserved with its fine coastal dune trees. These beautiful candlewoods, milkwoods, knobwoods, and majestic pock ironwoods that must be hundreds of years old, are really worth protecting.”

On the fauna side some special animals have appeared. A bushpig was spotted at a waterhole at 10h00 in the morning, an animal of crepuscular habits that is not usually seen in daylight hours. A Cape hare has also been seen after a break of 8 to 9 years. Many bushbuck continue to thrive and the Francolin (new name Spurfowl) has decided that the Estate is a safe place to live and are now on the increase. Red-billed Quelea have been seen for the first time and other special birds, not usually found in St Francis Bay itself, provide huge interest to those in the know. We are encouraged that we are managing a good balance between our security and the ability of wildlife having free access to our Estate.

A true story of survival follows:

robin1robinA Cape Robin-Chat chick of 4 days old fell some 3 meters from its nest onto a concrete floor. Fran Grobbelaar discovered it barely alive some time after the event. The nest was destroyed by a predator and the parents had left the area so a plan had to be made. With the help of Liz Horne, a local resident who is an expert in dealing with these matters, the chick was hand-reared and made remarkable progress. Some three weeks later a healthy little bird was released on the Estate. He has an orange ring on the right leg. See the photos attached. We hope he makes it in the wild, he certainly deserves too! If you see a ringed Robin please let us know, these birds tend to be territorial and there is a good chance he will remain in the area.

We enjoyed positive press coverage in two magazines the African Pilot and the St Francis Chronicle, with the publishing of two similar articles. This will be on our Website in case you have not seen them. We are planning an article in the regional OUR TIMES newspaper to appear shortly and an article in the local St Francis Chronicle to appear in the early edition January 2014. Please look out for these.

As part of our on-going effort to promote the Estate two very exciting events are planned for the coming holiday season, an Extreme Duathlon on 18 December and our Annual Fly-In on 28 December, both of which will showcase what our magnificent Estate has to offer in terms of natural beauty and amenities.

The extreme Duathlon forms part of the prestigious Summer Series of sporting events organised by St Francis Sport which runs from mid-December to early January 2014 and will comprise a mountain bike ride and off-road run through the Field. For us this means maximum publicity for the Estate for minimum effort. A whole new series of tracks has been prepared, ideal for the event, so do broadcast this event around among your friends and acquaintances and get ready to enjoy them with your family and visitors.

The main gates will be open to the public during these two events and they will be allowed free movement in the Estate enabling them to appreciate its unique charm. All visitors are welcome at our St Francis Airpark breakfast Fly-in on the 28th whether they arrive by air, parachute, car, bakkie, bike or foot. No prior permission or landing fees are required on this day and standard unmanned approach procedures will apply unless otherwise advised by St Francis Ground Control on the day. Activities are due to start at approximately 07h30 and should end at about midday – dependant on the weather of course.

We would like to encourage residents to come and see “these magnificent men in their flying machines” using what is considered to be one of the most picturesque grass landing fields in the country.

Just as a point of interest, the slightly spongy and soft grass after last year’s rain has been scarified using special equipment, thus making landing and take-off easier. Sincere thanks go to those residents and visiting pilots who contributed to this project. At the same time we would like to pay tribute to Dave Bowmer and his staff for the manicured runway and roadsides which always look neat and create a good impression.

The special road levy which was collected two years ago is now being used and road tarring, which is always weather dependent, started three months ago. Resident Committee Member Garth Perry is monitoring this and he is satisfied with the progress and quality of the work. Only one section remains to be done in the New Year.

Fortunately there have been no incidents of crime on the Estate thus far in 2013; this cannot be said for the greater St Francis area which has been quite hard hit with house break-in and other petty crime. Our electric fence is patrolled daily seven days a week and we are careful about handing out our entrance gate remotes and we control our auto-cell system as best as we can. Nevertheless we must remain vigilant and we urge residents to pick up and drop off casual labour at one of our gates. We do not want people other than our staff and regular household employees to be seen wandering around the Estate. Residents and visitors are requested to take care not to let in strangers, and should make sure that the gate has closed behind them before moving on.

We are working on the Committee’s future vision of the Estate and hope to publish this in our next edition.

With every good wish for the coming holiday and festive season

St Francis Field Homeowners Association Committee.
Contact Cell 0826100512