Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy Website
Visit our website http://www.fynbos.co.za for more information on the Conservancy
In 2013 the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, through Flower Valley, the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative and the Department of Environmental Affairs, was awarded a budget of R1.2 million annually for a period of three years, which will be spent on alien clearing within the conservancy. The project kicked off in July 2013 and we have used the allocated budget in the first year. The second phase started in 2014. The project has received funding for three clearing cycles on each property identified for clearing. (Below is the list of properties and the estimated hectares cleared in our first year, which includes money spent and person days used). During the 2013/14 cycles 63 employment opportunities were created through the Alien Clearing project. Thanks to our alien clearing team, shown below. From Left to Right: Goodwill, Princess, July, Thilivali, Joyce and David.
Estimated cleared Ha and money spent in the 2013/14 financial cycle:
|Name of the farm||Estimated Ha cleared||Money spent||Person days used|
|Mosaic farm||240||R 84 799.73||632|
|Bellavista||250||R 84 051.53||438|
|Grootbos||1697||R 173 771.19||1232|
|Bhodi khaya||200||R 55 794.30||313|
|Pinnacle||38||R 5 694.73||45|
|Witvoetskloof||700||R 129 522.48||752|
|Goedvertrouw||588||R 42 482.22||198|
|Flower Valley farm||582||R 68 204.26||669|
|Farm 215||700||R 193 673.49||1126|
|Lomond wines||180||R 176 082.13||987|
|Avuka||20||R 15 020.78||108|
|Bhungani||15||R 7 117.00||60|
|Witkrans (Privett)||28||R 24 817.5||256|
|Witkrans (Morgan)||80||R 36 218.43||114|
|Windheuwel||5||R 5 694.73||45|
|Total||Hectares: 5323||R1 102 944.50||Person Days: 6975|
Seventeen landowners have benefitted from this initiative within the WBFC thus far and we look forward to further progress with follow-up treatments and initial clearing during the 2014/15 funding cycle. Discussions around the 2015/16 funding cycle are already underway.
Jeannine McManus from the Landmark Foundation came to set up two camera traps on Grootbos over the weekend. Both Kevin and Christoff, two of the Grootbos guides, have confirmed that they have seen leopard spoor on the reserve. Jeannine is currently busy with research to determine the presence of leopards and their movement within the Overberg. Jeannine and Christoff set up two cameras. One of the cameras was placed in the afro-montane forest and the other in the fynbos where Christoff and Kevin have seen leopard spoor. The first camera is about 2 kilometres away from a camera trap that has been placed on Flower Valley. The cameras will stay in place for the first four months and will be monitored by the guides. We are looking forward to the confirmation and hopefully some pictures!
Only four days after setting up two cameras at Grootbos in the Western Cape’s Overberg region, Jeannine McMannus of the Landmark Foundation (www.landmarkfoundation.org.za) has confirmed what we have all been hoping for. LEOPARD!!! Click here to read more from Grootbos.
A special pink Erica found in one tiny area overlooking Walker bay shows its true colours in the winter of 2011……watch this video for more
Growing the Future visited Dianne van der Walt’s permaculture garden behind Farm215. Our ladies enjoyed the visit so much! Dianne first gave us a lesson about nutrients and the symptoms of deficiency. She showed the ladies different kinds of affected plants through demonstration; then she took us on a walk through the garden to see what plants look like when there is lack of a nutrient.
At the same time we walked through the garden where there are cultivated beds. We saw beds with spinach, beetroot, barley etc. The bed borders are created by old bricks found in the garden. She also showed us how she had planted potatoes with cardboard, then organic matter, manure and mulching. They used compost made from food scraps and yard waste. They designed their own dam and drip irrigation as well.
Another interesting thing we were shown is that they are building a guest house and a house where the soup will be made for the guests. The houses are made up of the clay bricks they made themselves. We saw the pile of clay soil, the bricks and the machine they use to make the bricks. After the garden tour, we walked up to the big dam and across a river to the waterfall!
The ladies had a wonderful time and learnt a lot about the excursion.
They gave a very big thank to Dianne and she will give lessons once a week about gardening and permaculture at the Growing the Future Project!
With the imminent onset of spring, its great to give a very quick report on happenings in the WBFC! The long awaited radio system is in its final stages of installation, and within the next couple of weeks, those members that are becoming part of the network will be live on air! The repeater has been placed on one of the highest points in the conservancy, and this system will be a huge improvement to the communication network between landowners.
The R 200 000 grant that we have received from Landcare and the Departement of Agriculture is well on its way to being chopped up, sawn down and hacked out. Lomond finished their allocation with great speed and precision, and Flower Valley followed close behind. Danie de Villiers and his team have also showed great commitment in clearing riverbanks of their property Helderfontein. The other farms committed to the project are hard at work, an were hoping that by showing our willingness to use these funds, we will be in a good position to apply for further funding soon!
Here is a lovely photos taken by Italo on their farm Wolwefontein: The Honey Badger is a rarely seen yet amazing animal. The scourge of beekeepers, due to their appetite for honey and destructive way of ripping hives open to get it, these animals are also voracious carnivores. Snakes, scorpions, lizards and insects all fall prey to the honey badger, but they have also been known to hunt rabbits, hares, small buck and crocodiles up to 1m in length!
It is said that even lion are hesitant to attack a mature badger, due to the fact that their loose skin allows them to turn their body almost completely inside its skin, and sink its teeth into their attacker. Thanks Italo, for the lovely photos, isn’t it great to see the amazing nature that we are all privileged to be a part of in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.