Project Esprit

This project involved creating a walkable link along the Sandspruit River adjacent to the boundary of Esprit Estate, joining Ernest Ullmann Park and the rest of the Sandspruit Walk towards South Road.

2 February 2017


The image above shows the monumental task that we undertook on this section of the Sandspruit. The entire area had been neglected for years to the point that you could not even see the river beyond the wall of White Poplar (Populus alba) saplings and curtains of Balloon Vines (Cardiospermum grandiflorum).

This project involved a number of tasks. The main ones being:

  • Clearing the undergowth
  • Removing alien invasive vegetation
  • Consolidate and bury rubble and litter
  • Widen and flatten the steep path from Dam Road down to Esprit
  • Drain the marshy land below the Esprit pond
  • Clear and level the tricky path along the river
  • Extend the storm water drain beyond the new river path

Together with our partners at Friends of Sandspruit we have already undertaken a significant amount of this work. The route is now perfectly walkable, however, there is more to be done.

Widening path from Dam Road

As you can see in the following image, the path down to Esprit was narrow, steep and slippery.


It has been widened and made slightly leass steep.


Draining marshy area

For years anyone venturing along this part of the Sandspruit had to skip along a few rocks and old boards to cross the marshy land for days after a heavy rain.

Marshy area outside Esprit Estate

We have now dug a drainage ditch in front of the large pond retaining wall and diverted the run-off into a pipe under the path.

Digging for drainage

River path

In order to create a walkable path near the river we still have to remove a number of smaller White Poplar trees, remove many loads of rubble that has been dumped there and then flatten a wide enough area for the path.

River walkway outside Esprit Estate

This project is a work-in-progress, but is mostly complete. Please come and look and leave your comments below.

For a full picture diary of the garden please see the below.

Please help... This worthwhile community project requires constant maintenance to keep it alive. We cannot provide the labour, equipment and consumables without your assistance. Please help us where you can...


When walking, you see things that you miss in a motor car or on the train. You give your mind space to ponder.

Tom Hodgkinson

No one has ever become poor by giving

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.


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