Total Trees Planted
Private nature reserve – Overstrand – Overberg
Farm 215, part of the Walkerbay Fynbos Conservancy, is a protected area under Stewardship of Cape Nature and the first reforestation site of Trees for Tourism. The 800 hectares of this reserve is covered with different fynbos vegetation types, riparian areas and some indigenous afromontane forest remnants.
The reforestation site is an area along a stream which was previously used for agriculture and subsequently infested with alien invasive vegetation. The invasive vegetation has been removed and reforestation pilots were done in 2007-2010. On the basis of the success of these pilots, 10’000 trees were planted out in 2011, followed each year by allocations of a few thousand trees.
Far removed from the daily grind of life, farm 215 is a private, intimate and secluded retreat where you can enjoy spacious accommodation, tranquility, an overpowering sense of space and the unique nature of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Farm 215 is the base station of the African Horse Company, organising outrides and multi-day horsetrails and provides access to an extensive network of hiking and mountain-bike trails in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy was registered in 1992 as the first Conservancy in the Western Cape. The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy represents 16 private landowners who are committed to protecting the natural environment. The natural vegetation includes indigenous forest, mountain fynbos, renosterveld and lowland fynbos.
Grootvadersbosch Conservancy has implemented a “working-for-water” project, employing 132 previously un-employed people in clearing and restoration work, including the development of an indigenous tree nursery. Since 2014, 960ha has been cleared from alien invasive trees. The reforestation site was previously densely invaded by invasive vegetation and is surrounded by indigenous forest. The site has been partly cleared to support reforestation. The Conservancy is piloting a new approach to rehabilitation and reforestation by using the pioneer properties of black wattle and bugweed to provide shade for the young indigenous trees. As the indigenous trees become more dominate, the invasive trees are gradually removed.
Grootvadersbosch Conservancy is developing 140 km of linked mountain bike and hiking trails across the region from Heidelberg and Suurbraak and there are several self-catering and guesthouse options in the Conservancy.
Klein River Cheese Farm | WPO site
Near Stanford, Overberg
This 5 ha site hugs a wide part of the Klein River, dotted with little islands. It was heavily infested with invasive alien vegetation, which has now all been cleared. Sporadic regrowth of indigenous vegetation indicates the previous presence of woodland.
A chunk of pasture has been sacrificed and that area will be integrated in the new forest. The site has been fenced in to protect it against grazing cattle.
The whole of the rehabilitation site includes a dryer area, higher on the hill, covered with remnants of critically endangered Elim ferricrete fynbos, which will also be rehabilitated. This type of fynbos occurs on land very suitable for agriculture and has mostly been ploughed up. Little of it is left and most of the species of this type of fynbos are listed as endangered on the IUCN red list.
In the end of the day, the WPO site will connect to the TfT, two further to the East along the Klein River, bringing integrity back to the river and the riparian area, creating a bulwark against erosion and a corridor for wildlife.
Klein River Cheese Farm
Near Stanford – Overstrand – Overberg
The rehabilitation site on the 230 ha Klein River Cheese Farm, 7km outside Stanford, is a dedicated project to restore one of the few remaining riparian forests on the Klein River. The forest is 8ha in extent. Over the years the forest has been degraded by settlers planting exotic trees for harvesting. There are areas of original forest which remain and include a swathe of milkwoods as well as Breede River yellowwoods.
The owners of Klein River Cheese Farm have declared it their lifetime legacy to restore the forest. . Many of the exotics have already been removed, resulting in an increase in the flow of the river and the natural regeneration of indigenous trees has been encouraging. Planting out of indigenous trees has started in 2017.
Klein River Cheese is a small family-run artisanal cheese factory which crafts award-winning cheese. The farm is on an environmentally sustainable journey. Lately a 27kW solar power plant has been commissioned. The picnic shed and cheese deli offer relaxed nature bound experiences for the visitors to the Klein River Farmstead.
Goodwill Mountain Farm
Near Stanford – Overstrand – Overberg
Goodwill Mountain is a permaculture project, retreat centre and guest farm which lies against the Kleinrivier mountains just outside Stanford. The reforestation site is 14 hectares of alien forest with predominantly Black Wattle as well as some Blue Gum and Port Jackson. The forest hugs a small river which is fed by the mountains and runs through the property.
During a large flood in 2005, the banks of the river were heavily damaged and there are now large dongas along the course as well as some places where the waterway cuts down to bedrock. Repairing the river and combating erosion will therefore be an important part of the rehabilitation process.
Some indigenous trees growing spontaneously indicate that this area has been a forest in the past, and that there is the water and fertility necessary for creating one anew. The alien vegetation will be cleared ongoingly as we plant the indigenous trees – in this way, the existing trees will act as support for the new ones and help to prevent erosion on the steeper slopes. Furthermore, Black Wattle trees fix nitrogen in the soil which the surrounding vegetation can benefit from.
Ultimately, this forest will become a sanctuary for plants, animals and humans alike. It will definitely be a place of peace and probably a source of inspiration, but hopefully also a call to action.