Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Running on D'MOSS

This weekend I was down in Durbs to teach an orienteering mapping course. I went down a bit early to catch up with my friend Paula and to have some time to play with Deon.

On Friday evening I joined Deon for a little jog to his local pool and back. Lovely to oogle at the beautiful, large trees all over the place. On Saturday morning we were up early-early for a run on part of the D'MOSS trails. D'MOSS stands for Durban Municipality Open Space System. It's a system of open spaces (parks and reserves) linked by a network. It includes some privately owned land too. While D'MOSS is about protection of natural areas, ecosystems and endangered critters it is also about having linked green spaces for recreation - running, hiking, mountain biking etc.

So on Saturday morning we ran from Deon's home in Glenmore on a trail along a large canal and up to the UKZN sports grounds where there's a lovely trail through forest on the property. Looking on Google Maps it looks like this 'canal' is the Mkhumbane river. The lushness and green-ness of the area is incredible. I'm so not used to Durbs.

On Sunday evening we hooked up with Deon's friend Derek (recently moved to JHB but still often in Durbs) to run Burman Bush, an absolutely lovely patch of indigenous coastal forest very much in the heart of Durban. There are a number of trails - we criss-crossed all over the place.

Derek in red, Deon in white and me as piggy-in-the-middle. From the viewpoint in Burman.
While the D'MOSS concept totally rocks I can't find any maps online. On the www.durban.gov.za website there's a thing for maps and then you get their GIS system; but it isn't a nicely presented map of the network of trails linking parks and reserves! In fact, a GIS map does no-one any favours, as you can see below.

Years ago my buddy Fred attended a meeting where a group of people looking into developing sport tourism facilities in the greater Durban region.

"I proposed maps and route markers and signboards linking all the D'MOSS facilities," he says. "It would have been a stunner used by thousands. Instead they decided to spend money on developing the trail corridor along the Umgeni river between PMB and Durban - a resource used by a handful of people."

This is something that really, really needs a good map showing benches, loos, water fountains, picnic spots, view points... Nevermind locals, D'MOSS is a great place for holidaying visitors to enjoy. They really just need some people-friendly maps.

1 comment:

Dave Mercer said...

Thanks Lisa, agreed we have some stunning areas to run (and MTB) here in Durbs and not much of it mapped-out to show all the trails in detail. We often run in Krantzkloof and Shongweni and I've set out mini-ARs for the kids at Shongweni. Google Earth works OK, but some nice topographic maps for the reserves and D'MOSS areas would be great. Cheers, Dave Mercer.