Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill lies on the outskirts of Howick, encircled by plantations and houses, with spectacular views across Midmar and the Midlands.

This 40ha piece of mist-belt grassland is a highly threatened vegetation type and an important ecosystem. Beacon Hill is unique in that it has not been grazed by livestock for decades and supports many critically endangered plants.

105 indigenous flower species have been recorded on beacon Hill, as well as 19 grasses, six tree species, 62 birds, 10 mammals and many butterflies. Among the rare plants found here is Asclepias woodii, a KZN Midlands endemic which reappeared on the hill recently after not being seen for nearly 100 years. Flowering time is usually December.

In the nineties, Councillor John Tidbury, who lived at the foot of Beacon Hill, recognised its ecological significance and pioneered its registration as a Site of Conservation Significance. The certificate was awarded in April 2005. 

Friends of Beacon Hill was resurrected in 2011 to work towards conserving this precious remnant as a public open space, and area of conservation significance.  The aim is to focus the energy and interests of concerned citizens and organizations towards maintaining the natural ecological integrity of Beacon Hill and to promote its use as a low-impact open-space. Friends of Beacon Hill are in the process of registering the land with KZN Biodiversity Stewardship Programme in the “Protected Environment” category.  

Regular walks take place at Beacon Hill on the last Sunday of each month at 09h00. Meet at the top of Lake View Road. Contact Eve Hughes - 082 872 4333 for more information.

Click here for contact information for this conservancy.


To download flora and fauna lists click here

To view the Beacon Hill photo gallery click here.