Environment

General Conservation

Natures Valley is a situated at the bottom of the Groot river pass and is a triangular shaped piece of beforrested land, wedged in between the Indian ocean, the Groot river estuary, which forms a lagoon, and a escarpment a truly unique location.

In an effort to preserve this beautiful piece of Gods handiwork the Nature's Valley Trust was established years ago and focuses on the protection of the environmental integrity of Nature's Valley and the surrounding area.

Funding from WWF has helped to establish a range of projects aimed at preserving and raising awareness of the coastal, forest and fynbos areas of this unique environment. Volunteers working with the Trust help out on a number of projects simultaneously, but may choose to put their efforts into one or two main projects once they have started. The projects are all ongoing and will be constantly evolving and new initiatives are being introduced on a regular basis.

Fynbos Reserve

Steps have been taken to reintroduce The Brenton Blue butterfly that has not been seen in Nature's Valley since 1984.

Volunteers assist with the intensive monitoring of the butterflies, host plants and associated ants. In addition, the reserve needs to be maintained through the removal of alien vegetation (saplings), excess bracken fern etc.

The existing paths through the reserve were made more user-friendly and mapped.

Signage on the reserve together with a brochures explaining a little more about the flora and fauna in the reserve.

Phyl Martin Park Botanical Garden

Assistance with maintenance of the gardens, pathways and production of interpretive signage and brochure. Development of a 'treasure route' for children through the garden.

Environmental Education Both the above areas plus a 'forest route' and 'coast route' need to be planned, mapped and a flyer produced for distribution in local schools.

Volunteers would also visit local schools to boost environmental awareness and advertise the availability of 'outdoor classrooms'. All routes need to be developed in order that they can be undertaken as 'self-guided' routes. Removal of Invasive Plants Volunteers would work in conjunction with the existing Open Spaces Committee to remove invasive plants from the Valley.

Baboon Survey Conflict between baboons and residents in Nature's Valley is an ongoing problem. Baboons entering properties pose a threat to both the property and the residents.

Volunteers will assist with a seeking to determine why baboons enter homes, measures that may be taken to deter them. A record of incidents and interviews with residents concerned about baboon incidents also needs to be carried out. This will include research into the design and costs of baboon-proof dustbins, etc. This will provide information for a booklet on "Living with Baboons".

General Monitoring Monitoring of the estuaries (Groot River and Salt River), beaches, fishermen, forests, etc. This will involve daily monitoring of the beaches, talking to local fishermen and establishing information about their fishing practices. Volunteers will aim to raise awareness of safe fishing practices and encourage the removal of litter.

There is likely to be further monitoring of local rivers as concerns have been raised about the future of these local water sources. This will include monitoring pollution, rate of flow, health of invertebrate species living in the rivers etc.