The Touw River Conservancy (TRC) is a local conservation body focused on increased conservation efforts on private and municipal property in the Greater Wilderness Area. Much of their volunteer efforts in conservation are geared towards clearing invasive vegetation as a first level priority step in any rehabilitation or reforestation process. Clearing invasive trees is a labour intensive process and a labour of love by the TRC team who put their own time and effort into it.
The TRC has been clearing a site in Wilderness Heights which has been identified as one of many vital corridors for wildlife in the area, most of which are shrinking as a result of rising higher density development in the area and overrun by non-indigenous invasive vegetation. This site used to be an old cattle dip for the farmers many years ago, but neglected from disuse as farms were subdivided into smallholdings. It become heavily infested with pine, wattle gum, bugweed, to name a few of the highly invasive non-indigenous species dominating the competition for space and water.
In 2022, the TRC joined the George Municipality’s Adopt-a-Spot program whereby it has undertaken to continue to clear, maintain and rehabilitate the site – now recognised as a heritage site in the Garden Route. When Precious Tree Project was donated funds by the Wilderness Ratepayers and Residents Association (WRRA) and George Tourism as part of the Wilderness Centenary and Beautification Project, we allocated the funds towards planting out in a mini-forest pocket on the site.
Since many of the leaves of indigenous trees are a vital food source for many of the wildlife species in the area, irrespective of the age of the tree, we got creative in our tree protection methods structures giving the trees time to take root and ground themselves.
A big round of applause to the TRC and its committee members involved in the rehabilitation of this site and for all those local community members who joined in and gave a helping hand on the day.
Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous South African forest tree towards our wildlife corridors in the Garden Route OR visit www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.