With the support of the Table Mountain Fund and World Wildlife Fund, the conservancy is launching a new project to protect our rivers and the aquatic species that depend on them. The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy is home to several important indigenous freshwater fish species, including the critically endangered Tradouw redfin, which is considered one of the top five freshwater fishes in the fynbos region that requires immediate conservation action.
In partnership with Tress for Tourism, the conservancy has established a restoration site close to our office. The site has been approved by the South African Reforestation Trust as an area that has been disturbed and needs assistance to restore it back to forest. The replanting is an important part of this natural process. The trees are taken carefully as tiny seedlings from nearby mature Grootvadersbosch Forest, cared for in our nursery and then planted back in the reforestation site.
The Conservancy is pleased is be back in the field with the long-awaited start of our alien clearing activities, which are currently funded by Landcare. Our teams have had a long delay, but we are now starting to address areas of regrow with the support of landowners and partners.
So excited to see our new hiking guides completing their two weeks of training with Venture forth. Thanks to all those who supported the training: DEA, Swellendam Tourism and WWF/TMF. The guides have worked really hard this week and are now ready to start practicing what they have learnt.
Cool new trail maps are available for download on our website with information on each of the trails. The maps include points of interest on natural biodiversity and historical sites. Information on the points of interest are detailed on each page. The maps are available at Grootvadersbosch Conservancy, Selected Guest houses, Swellendam Tourism, Delish in Heidelberg and Paradise Organic Restaurant in Suurbraak
Last week we had a fabulous first aid training that was done by medicare EMR. We highly recommend these providers who gave excellent training with passion and commitment. Garth really took the time to make sure everyone reached their potential. We are very proud of everyone who attended and passed. We know that the training could save lives in and out of the work place. This training will lay the foundation for developing skills in the community.
In early June, we were lucky enough to have a visit from a few mountain bike legends who were out scoping for an article to be feature internationally in the spring. Daniel Dobinson and Harry Millar (Iride Africa), lead mountain bike trips across South Africa. They were joined by another mountain bike nutter: Oli Munnik and well known photographer Ewald Sadie. Just to add to the challenge, they decided to carry their beds with them and camped out for the night.
This weekend launched the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy trails at the Heidelberg Pumpkin Festival Race. The race was a huge success with riders from all over the world competing. Billy Stelling, Transcape 2016 solo winner, claimed the inaugural 80 km title in a time of 3hr45. The female title was won by Swiss rider Marie – Claude Baars, who came all the way from Australia to compete.
The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy trails will be launched at the Heidelberg Pumpkin festival. The day will involve fun for the whole family. Sign up for the mountain bike race with different options of 7km 35km, 63km and 82km. Don't like mountain biking?.... there is golf, beer, spit braai and live music. Bring your dancing shoes too....You can sign up at: www.pumpkinfestival.co.za/