The first hide constructed by the Friends was in the Arboretum, design and execution by Neil. It was put up in March 2015 and well liked but it suffered from lack of birds and view. Here some Woodridge students have fun during an excursion.
In March 2016 a fire swept through part of the reserve including the Arboretum and the hide was irreparably damaged. A lot of the work we did creating the Arboretum was wiped out, including signage and fencing.
It was a good opportunity to rethink the location of the hide and, after much discussion, we settled on the wall of the Lilly Pond, part of the Dodds dam area. The views are better from there and there is a mixture of water birds and others. Rudi set out to build the new hut, constructed mainly from bits salvaged from the old one. It was put up in June 2016.
In June 2017 another fire swept through. This time nearly the entire Reserve was burnt by a very hot fire. Even parts of the forest on both sides of the gorge were affected. Only some of the sections that had burned the year previously were spared.
The fire was long overdue so in the long run the fynbos will benefit but seeing all our signage and other work destroyed was rather devastating.
This was left of our precious hide we were so proud of and, judging by all the positive comments in our visitors book (also burnt) was well liked by the public. We set about cleaning the remnants away and gave up the idea of ever having another hide.