Flower Valley Conservation Trust has turned 20 years old
For the Trust, it has been 20 years of growth, progress and learning – from 1999, when with Fauna & Flora International’s support, Flower Valley Farm was purchased; to 2017, where Flower Valley entered a new phase in promoting fynbos care throughout the Cape Floral Kingdom. The Trust takes a quick look at those defining moments that have led Flower Valley to where we are today.
With talk that the area is to be converted to vineyards, a concerned individual, Carol Blumenthal approaches Fauna & Flora International (FFI) for support to buy Flower Valley Farm, based just outside Gansbaai. FFI purchases the farm, an area of 540 hectares, and sets up Flower Valley Conservation Trust to manage the farm.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust is mandated through the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) to investigate ABI’s second objective: ‘Ecologically, socially and economically sustainable harvesting of wild fynbos is demonstrated as a viable land-use on Agulhas Plain’. This sets Flower Valley on the path to develop the Sustainable Harvesting Programme, a programme based on research, science and wide participation. The outcome is awarded a ‘highly satisfactory’ rating by the end of the project, in 2010.
Flower Valley Farm is hit by a devastating fire that destroys more than 45,000 hectares in the Walker Bay area – most of this pristine fynbos. The fire affects many fynbos suppliers and their picking teams. Moreover, Flower Valley Farm itself loses a large portion of its afromontane forest, one of the reasons behind the Stinkhoutsbos Forest Restoration Project happening today.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust becomes a signatory to the Cape Action for People and the Environment.
The packshed that sells sustainably harvested fynbos, Fynsa, closes its doors. The closure, while disappointing, sets Flower Valley on a new path to develop new partnerships and renewed support for the Sustainable Harvesting Programme across the supply chain.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust
The Flower Valley Early Learning Centre on Flower Valley Farm closes its doors. The main reason was rising transport costs, to bring children to the site on the farm. The site was transformed into a hub to facilitate environmental education.
Flower Valley TURNS 20 years old – and continues its work to protect fynbos landscapes, and support early childhood development.
The Flower Valley Early Learning Centre for children aged between two and six is born, to help look after the children of fynbos harvesters and farm workers while they’re at work. The centre’s work in providing an environmental education for children continues today.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust buys the neighbouring farm, Witvoetskloof, with funding secured from Fauna & Flora International. This farm is home to many highly threatened fynbos species, many found only on Witvoetskloof and nowhere else in the world.
Fynbos Retreat, the tourism joint venture between Flower Valley and Grootbos, is officially launched in November. Fynbos Retreat is situated on Witvoetskloof Farm, offering self-catering accommodation facilities for visitors and tourists. Fynbos Retreat is well-received at the launch, and today still continues to enjoy strong support.
Flower Valley, as coordinator of ABI, starts coordinating the ABI Alien Clearing Project, following the launch of the Land User Incentive Scheme by the Department of Environmental Affairs. Funding is secured for the next three years to clear invasive alien plants on the Agulhas Plain.
At the same time, Flower Valley receives new donor support to roll out the Sustainable Harvesting Programme beyond the Agulhas Plain – the initial pilot area. The three new areas are the West Coast, the Riversdale-area and the Boland.
The Flower Valley Early Childhood Development Programme turns 18 – reaching five centres across the Overstrand region. Flower Valley also launches a home-based care programme.
Flower Valley launches the i-Fynbos application – a tool to help landowner and harvesters monitor their harvesting impacts over time. The app is the first of its kind in the fynbos industry, and is supported through funding from the Durham and Newcastle Universities.
The Flower Valley Conservation Trust’s annual report for 2018 - 2019 is now available. Says Executive Director, Lesley Richardson: I’ve been part of an intricate Flower Valley Conservation Trust journey. This journey has seen Flower Valley evolve and grow. What...
The Flower Valley Conservation Trust Early Childhood Development (ECD) team has further strengthened our partnership with the Creative Skills Factory during the past six months.
The Trust is now advertising for a part-time position: We’re looking for an energetic individual to support Flower Valley’s Home-based ECD programme in the Baardskeerdersbos area.
The Trust is now advertising for the following full-time position: Outdoor Assistant (live-in position) to take responsibility for the overall garden establishment and general maintenance. Work in a team to create a pleasant and productive ‘food and discovery’ garden environment that is safe and secure for both children and visitors.
Wildfires: We’re certainly no stranger to their devastation. In 2006, the entire Flower Valley Farm burnt to the ground. It was an experience you can’t put words to. It not only
By Kirsten Watson For me, this year started like no other. We were only a few days into 2019 when we heard the news: It’s burning. Franskraal, our closest town (to Flower Valley Farm), was being evacuated. It was one of three fires burning in the Overstrand at the...
Pre-school learners in Buffeljagsbaai have moved into a newly-renovated building which can now care for at least 20 children.
A wonderful opportunity is available for an Administrator to contribute towards conservation within the Overberg. You will either be based in Bredasdorp or the Gansbaai region.
A new invasive alien clearing programme is ready to launch in the Overberg. The project is an Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) project, implemented by Flower Valley Conservation Trust.
We’re hosting a Field Trip at Flower Valley Farm on Wednesday 7 August 2019 – introducing attendees to our Fynbos, sustainable harvesting practices, and conservancy action to protect Fynbos.