As autumn and early winter set in, the fawn colours of the fynbos transform the surrounding hills into a pink wonderland as the endemic Erica irregularis comes into bloom. This special Erica only occurs in a narrow 300 km range and is predominantly found on the south facing sandy soils of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. It is remarkable to think that this is the only place in the world this delicate Erica is found.
This natural wonder, is a reminder of the importance of the Grootbos Foundation’s vision - To conserve the Cape Floral Kingdom and uplift the communities therein. The Foundation conservation team has now documented over 800 species on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and over 1 000 species within the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
Our conservation team has grown to include: a botanist, a camera monitoring project documenting the movement of species in and around the conservancy and two entomologists exploring the world of insects. This work creates a map of the incredible biodiversity of the area and these complex interactions between the facets of biodiversity are essential to conserve and protect, as they play a pivotal role in the survival of the planet.
In the surrounding communities the Foundation’s work now reaches over 12 000 beneficiaries per annum. This includes everything from skills development programmes in horticulture and hospitality, to a youth programme speaking to learners in more than 6 high schools, to coaching in soccer, athletics, hockey, netball. It includes a ready to swim programme in the summer months and a canoeing programme on the Stanford River.
The work the Foundation is achieved with dedicated teamwork and everyone of you that believe in and support our work. It is unfortunately impossible to share all the very special Foundation stories with you in a newsletter but please enjoy some of the Foundation highlights below.