Very few things have become as appreciated and valued as freedom, space and security over the past few months. Whether these are things you have always had but took for granted, or things you’ve always yearned for … their importance and worth have become immeasurable.
I couldn’t help but think about exactly these things as I was being taken on a tour around the exclusive Cotswold Fenns gated estate in Hillcrest recently.
Although I was wearing my ‘work’ cap, it was hard not to imagine myself and my family living this lifestyle, amidst all this natural beauty and space. My kids catch-and-release fishing in one of the three dams, bike riding and trail running through the 12km of bush trails, sundowners and braais with family and friends on the clubhouse deck or bird spotting from the hidden bird viewing deck. There are even unique outdoor gym stations cleverly placed 100m apart. Yes, I could live here.
When you overlook the 175 000m², or 17 hectares, of natural wetland (the largest single sitting of wetland in South Africa) it’s hard to believe that Cotswold Fenns is situated in the bustling heart of Hillcrest. In fact, the secure estate’s location is one of the many alluring draw cards that make this estate (which sits alongside Cotswold Downs) ideal for young families.
Not only do they have their own 2500m² crèche under construction at the entrance to the estate, but Curro Primary School is less than 2km away and Curro High School is quite literally across the road from the entrance. The Watercrest Mall (with over 130 stores and eateries) is also just down the road.
Without a doubt, security seems to have been a massive factor in the planning phase as well as during the construction of Cotswold Fenns. This is a comforting thought, given the sheer size of the open wetlands surrounding the estate.
There are 182 zones on the electric fence around the perimeter, as well as underground electric fencing. There are also steel roller shutters at the entrance booms, which go down at 10pm every evening.
The planning phase of Cotswold Fenns began eight years ago and the restoration and rehabilitation of the wetlands took a year to complete. Phase one of the estate, set to be complete by the end of this year, includes a clubhouse facility with a heated pool and kiddies play area and construction on phase two (on sale now) will begin soon.
The homes themselves (2-bedroom or 3-bedroom) feature state-of-the-art finishes (think laminated flooring, porcelain tiles and granite tops) and prices start from R1 180 000. There is no doubt, given the current repo rate, that this is a great time for first-time home owners to break into the property market and Cotswold Fenns has a number of options, depending on what you are looking for.
But, besides the lovely homes, the true value of the estate undoubtedly lies in it’s natural beauty and the lifestyle this space affords its residents.
The Nkuthu river runs through the three dams on the property and the bird life is prolific. It’s easy to imagine sitting alongside the water with a picnic, watching the ducks … or walking your dogs (this is a pet-friendly estate) in the evenings, feeling safe and secure. Some things truly are priceless.
Text: Leah Shone Videography: Mary-Ann Palmer