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
We are half-way through the 2021 year, and it is time to share some of the news from the Valley. Flower Valley has largely focussed on executing our new strategy. We have been gathering baseline data on the trends within the different rural communities of the...
Flower Valley has registered 500 hectares of pristine fynbos (on Flower Valley Farm) into a conservation servitude. This is done in favour of Fauna and Flora International, one of the world’s leading conservation organisations, who will ensure that all decisions are...
Flower Valley has learnt that the ability to connect and share information between rural communities is severely limited during the COVID lockdowns. In response to this, we have stepped into the gap and provided training in different ways of communicating with...
We all love fynbos and the fantastic diversity found on Flower Valley, but the people in our communities are just as special. While hosting a fynbos flower harvesting course in February this year at the Flower Valley outdoor classroom, we discovered that we had a...
As a collective, social service organisations have been unable to find reliable and contemporary information to guide targeted interventions for optimal impact. The census data collected by the national government misses essential information when it comes to...
Venus flytraps and pitcher plants! These carnivorous plants eat insects as part of their diet. Within the Western Cape there are ±20 species of Drosera. This high diversity of carnivorous plants is caused by the poor nutrient soils found in the Cape. Carnivorous...
Dolfyntjies Early Childhood Centre (ECD) was founded in 2002 in order to provide a space where children could learn and play in a safe environment in the Eluxolweni community where no quality early childhood services existed. It is 19 years later and Dolfyntjies...
Flower Valley is recruiting a service provider to evaluate the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative’s (ABI) Invasive Alien Clearing Project
The appointment of a service provider to evaluate the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative’s (ABI) Invasive Alien Clearing Project implemented by the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, as part of a case study for other ABI projects and to contribute to the ABI Re-visioning...
With renewed energy for our strategy framework, we have restructured ourselves to be more adaptable and efficient to deal with the post-COVID lock down climate. Our core focus is conserving biodiversity and building resilience starting with the child, through a life...
Over the past few month’s Flower Valley was visited by a few Universities to explore our unique fynbos systems. The following is interesting research done on Flower Valley Farm. Multispectral Imagery Colin Geel (surveyor) and Dr. Kevin Musungu (Cape Peninsula...
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.