Monday, 30 July 2012

The gem that Huddle Park will be

I've been wanting to check out Huddle Park, in Linksfield, for some time. It used to be a golf course (actually, three golf courses) and has been in a state of disrepair for many years now. A friend who lives in the area - Vic runs through the park occasionally - invited me to join him on a run there on Friday. I was blown away by the size of the park and the potential for running, biking, orienteering... There has been talk about developing a trail for running and biking as well as preservation of the wetland and re-establishment of fauna and flora.

We noticed that there is golf course development happening (big machinery and people at work), but this is only on one section of the land, near the road. According to a post on the Huddle Park website, "A running, walking and cycling track will be established. This will be incorporated into the nature conservation area. The Wendy Bodman Walk between Huddle Park and the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course will be cleaned. The dam will be included with this walkway as a nature conservation area. People can use this area for picnics and to enjoy the natural beauty of the environment." (See this piece on IOL too.)

As it is the highveld in winter, the park is very brown. The grass has been cut or burned throughout, which makes the park less 'shady' and more safe to play in. There are loads of paths already in the park so running and biking options already abound. It's just a matter of roaming the property to figure out what is where. As we ran under trees and past the dams my eyes feasted on potential features for the placement of orienteering controls! Ditches, rough open land, re-entrants, edges of dams and below dam walls...

Loads of trees (wide rows generally) and open sections from the old fairways.
It will be fabulous to have an 'Emmarentia-like' venue just over the hill from me. The property is huge, the scope for running and biking is there and with the dams and bird-life this will be a lovely local nature spot.

Vic on the bridge. We entered the park on the North-western side, using this bridge to cross into the park. Looks bad but is actually solid.
FYI - there's a Save Huddle Park FB group.


grant said...

Its not in my neck of the woods but every time Ive driven past Ive wondered what exactly can be done about this place so as not to have it developed into another exclusive cluster and golf etate .With community and local govt collusion it will be an awesome place .

adventurelisa said...

Hey Grant. I've been wondering the same thing about the place for years. Seems a section has been sold to big business with a view for development - the Save Huddle Park people are fighting it. Seems that the other plans on the cards is the golf course section under construction (local businessman has a 30 year lease or such) with upgrade on the clubhouse and putting in of a mashie course etc. And then the rest for run, bike, nature, wetland etc.

davidb said...

Hi there. My name is David Bagg, leader of the team restoring the golf course/clubhouse on behalf of the City of Jo'burg who abandoned the "jewel". I can be contacted on 083 2811997 or for more info on our exciting project.

davidb said...

Also, visit or or newhuddlepark (Facebook)