A fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods
The Flower Valley Conservation Trust is celebrating 21 years of protecting natural fynbos landscapes and improving livelihoods across the Fynbos Biome; and providing better quality and access to Early Childhood Development services for children in the Overstrand district. Our areas of work:
Sustainable Fynbos Harvesting
Invasive Alien Clearing
Early Childhood Development
Flower Valley Farm
WHAT IS FYNBOS?
There are more than 9,000 different plant species in the Cape Floral Kingdom – including our national flower (the King Protea).
Cape Floral Kingdom
Fynbos makes up the largest part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. This kingdom is the smallest of the six global floral kingdoms. And it’s the only one found in one country.
But fynbos is now a hotspot for plant extinctions
Since 1900, 37 species have been lost in the Western Cape of South Africa (the home of fynbos). That’s the second highest number of plant extinctions in the world.
– Invasive alien plants
– Conversion to agriculture
– Unsustainable use
– A changing climate and urbanisation
Flower Valley Conservation Trust
Sustainably harvested fynbos hectares
Hectares cleared of invasive aliens per year
Children impacted per year by the ECD Programme
Capacity building in the green economy
Invasive alien clearing livelihoods secured
Families receiving ECD home-based support
21 YEARS: A FYNBOS CELEBRATION
We turn 21 this year! And how we’ve grown over these past 21 years. Our journey started in 1999 on Flower Valley Farm (the home of the Trust), based just outside Gansbaai in the Western Cape. Back then, our staff contingent came to 5 people, who were responsible for managing the farm. Over the next 21 years, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust team grew to 20. And today, while we’re based on Flower Valley Farm, we work across the Cape Floral Kingdom – protecting fynbos landscapes, improving fynbos livelihoods, and providing Early Childhood Development opportunities to children in the Overstrand region.
It all started for Flower Valley Conservation Trust when a beautiful fynbos farm was threatened with conversion to agriculture. In order to protect this 540-hectare farm, urgent action was needed. Flower Valley’s former Executive Director, Lesley Richardson, explains.
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.
From the start, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust helps to care for the children of fynbos harvesters, farm workers and surrounding families while they’re at work. This was essentially the start of the Trust’s work in early childhood development, which continues today.
Flower Valley works with a number of Early Childhood Development sites, facilitating qualification training for many practitioners at the time.
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 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.
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. The Trust sets up new livelihood opportunities for harvesters through fynbos paper making.
#COVID19: A message from our Acting Executive Director
A Coronavirus update: A swift response to a crisis
At the time, the spotlight fell almost exclusively on the latter half of our vision: for life and livelihoods (our vision is: A fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods).
Many communities we work with – in both our Natural Resource Management and our Early Childhood Development programmes – had little or no income; and therefore no opportunity to buy food for themselves and their families. Read more
– Roger Bailey
Our Featured Stories
Most of these wonderful aromas can be experienced on a hike through our fynbos. So if you head to Flower Valley Farm now, here’s what’s likely to light up your sense of smell.
When we saw that an intact pristine fynbos farm was threatened by potential agricultural expansion 21 years ago – you, our donors, stepped in to help. This purchase with the help of Fauna and Flora International, saw the birth of Flower Valley Conservation Trust.
At the height of the lockdown during the past four months, Flower Valley Conservation Trust had to react swiftly. At the time, the spotlight fell almost exclusively on the latter half of our vision: for life and livelihoods (our vision is: A fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods).
Over the past two years, 138 fynbos harvesters received training in how to harvest fynbos sustainably. They were trained in their own home language (Afrikaans, isiXhosa and English).
“The response we received to our call for donations, was heartwarming and enabled us to meet the overwhelming need in these communities.”
Australia and South Africa have teamed up to add new functionality to the Flower Valley Alien Clearing Programme.
The Flower Valley team has found two new alien plant species to the Overberg, while working along the banks of the Klipdrift River in Napier. And one species in particular is causing concern for conservationists here, due to its
It’s blooming beautiful on Flower Valley Farm right now. The Proteas are flowering – and that makes it quite simply one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit the farm for a hike.
The difference between an average photograph and an eye-catching one doesn’t necessarily require you to buy a new camera.
How well do you know your fynbos? This Environment Day (Friday 5 June), the world takes Time for Nature (2020’s theme). So take a moment to test your fynbos knowledge (there are just 10 super quick questions). Do it simply #ForNature.
Support our cause
Support our cause
Act today for fynbos
Fynbos faces extreme threats.
Many fynbos species have already gone extinct.
Others literally stand on the brink of extinction.
ACT TODAY, to stop the extinction spiral of this truly South African floral heritage.
Act today for Early Childhood Development
Quality early childhood development is vital for the social and intellectual wellbeing of our children and their future.
But many children across the Overstrand do not have access to these services.
HELP give these children the best possible start through ECD.
Fynbos faces extreme threats. Many fynbos species have already gone extinct. Others literally stand on the brink of extinction. Act today, to stop the extinction spiral of this truly South African floral heritage.
Quality early childhood development is vital for the social and intellectual wellbeing of our children. But many children across the Overstrand do not have access to this. Help give these children the best possible start through ECD.