Photo Credit: City of Cape Town

Rescuing threatened local species and giving them new ground, teams joined in the Cape to give degraded plots a fynbos makeover!


Cape Town, South Africa (06 June, 2023) — The City of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University teamed up to give degraded plots a fynbos-makeover as part of the Fynbos Restoration research project, a boost to the region’s biodiversity.

After over four hectares were cleared of invasive alien flora, the ground was cleared for new fynbos to take root at the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve.

A Little Fynbos, a Biodiversity Treasure Chest

The main aim of the project is around ecological restoration to help biodiversity thrive in the Cape; an initiative important to South Africa’s biodiversity care and growth.

Fynbos—often synonymous with the South African spirit for its growth during adverse conditions—refers to several species of the vegetation known to be rich in biodiversity.

Many fynbos types are area specific and special to regions in SA, like the Cape Flat Sand Fynbos which is usually found only in Cape Town.

So, the mission to restore former fynbos-rich regions to their prime is more than meets the eye.

The restoration project has been a long-led research task, with the main focus being on rescuing threatened species and figuring out ways to reintroduce them into the Reserve.

During the recent replanting session, several fynbos species found a new home. These species are described to have been long lost to the region.

“This is a very positive and promising planting event and forms part of the overall Cape Flats Sand Fynbos ecological restoration initiative. We look forward to monitoring and seeing the Fynbos vegetation flourish in this area so that the unique biodiversity is restored to its former glory,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

Two professors, a Fynbos-Infused Dream

Professors Elser and Homes have been a key part of the restoration dream with their noses to the ground on how fynbos can flourish at the Reserve since 2012, as well as what’s preventing this.

“The restoration work therefore not only restores the threatened ecosystems, but also restores the sense of place and natural landscape of the original Cape lowlands,” wrote Prof Holmes.

Sources: The City of Cape Town; The Blaauwberg Large-scale Sand Fynbos Restoration Project
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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