Biodiversity Project

The removal of alien vegetation from the farm began in late 2000.

The removal of alien vegetation from the farm began in late 2000. A major infestation of Blue Gum and Pine was on the property when the land was purchased.

An intensive clearing programme above our Shiraz block proved to be more difficult than expected. Three hectares of dense Blue Gum and Pine was felled, and the trees placed out along the contours. The block has an extremely steep gradient and took much longer than expected.

With the help of Fiona from Dragon Plants, we began sourcing plants and seeds from a number of local nurseries. The aim was to re-plant the block with as many endemic species as possible. Given the steep slopes this proved to be very difficult. Overseen by Fiona, planting began in 2003, once the careful selection and mixing of species (to ensure an even distribution of species) had been completed. The success rate was great, apart from the few which our nosey neighbours the Baboons ripped up!

In 2005, we have noticed some natural re-seeding of plants. The Erica’s are doing especially well. Along with the 3 hectares of re-planted fynbos above our Shiraz block, we have buffer zones of fynbos along and between the vineyards, the aim is to minimise spray programs through encouragement of natural pest control. In the past two years we have noticed a marked decrease in the need to spray. All sprays are done with the consultation of experts in this field.

Non-indigenous windbreaks are to be removed once the indigenous species have grown sufficiently to prevent any soil erosion in these areas.

With the return of indigenous fynbos we have experienced an increase of many bird species and are now seeing evidence of Cape Mountain leopard, caracal and grey mongoose on the farm. Sightings of the following birds have increased in recent years: Grey Heron, African Black Duck, Yellow Billed Duck, Black Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Jackal Buzzard, Black Shouldered Kite, Gymnogene, Yellow Billed Kite, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, Helmeted Guinea fowl, Cape Francolin, Emerald Cuckoo, Cape Eagle Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl, Fiery Necked Night Jar, Giant Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker, Fork Tailed Drongo, Fairy Flycatcher, Malachite Sunbird, Swee Waxbill, Common Waxbill.

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