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 ability to invade fynbos and forests.
The Flower Valley Natural Resource Management team is currently assessing and mapping the extent of invasive alien plants along the banks of the Klipdrift River in Napier. The Trust was tasked to undertake the assessment and mapping by the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency, lead agent for water management in the Overberg.
The plan is to ultimately compile a strategy to clear the invasive alien plants from the Klipdrift riparian zone, once the extent and costs are understood.
To date, our Alien Clearing Project Manager, Stanley Engel, and Extension Officer, Mitch Afrika have worked with wonderful Napier landowners to gather the information.
But it was during this process that Stanley and Mitch came across two NEW alien plants.
1. Acacia elata (Pepper tree wattle), is native to Australia and grows to 12 – 18m tall. It occurs in South Africa, but we don’t know of other records of it as an invasive in the Overberg as yet.
It’s a concern because it’s a fast-growing, long-lived species known to invade fynbos and forest clearings. It’s spread by ants, birds, wind and water, and can also travel in garden waste and contaminated soil transportation.
It’s a NEMBA Category 1b invader.
2. Angophora species (we believe it’s Angophora costata, also known as Sydney red gum, as identified by our friends at the South African National Biodiversity Institute).
This is also an Australian native medium-sized tree which grows to about 30m tall. This species is not naturalised in South Africa (and is not yet listed under NEMBA as an invasive species), but is part of the Myrtle family.
The Klipdrift River feeds into the Kars River, which ultimately feeds the Heuningnes River. This leads to the Heuningnes estuary on the De Mond Nature Reserve, which is a Ramsar wetland site (signifying wetlands of international importance). The river is also the source of Napier’s leiwater.
But the Klipdrift River is heavily infested by invasive plants. It’s hoped this process will help raise awareness around the importance of this river.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust
Natural Resource Management: Alien Clearing Programme
When fynbos is picked sustainably, you not only protect the fynbos kingdom for future generations, you also protect the livelihoods of those who harvest it.
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.
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.