Trail runners
Photo Credit: Rodnick Biljon

Trail runners happily traded traditional medals for the victory of winning a tree to support South Africa’s only endemic parrot’s natural habitat. Here’s how many trees these trail runners made possible to plant!


Hogsback, South Africa (05 May 2024) — Last weekend, trail runners happily traded traditional medals for the victory of winning a tree in Hogsback; the kind of indigenous tree that could change the future of a very special, but endangered species in South Africa.

In Hogsback, Merrell Hobbit Trail Runs known for its adventurous edge in the Eastern Cape, turned into a hub of hope. There, runners exceptionally energised in the race to make a difference for the Cape Parrot—South Africa’s only endemic parrot, easily identifiable thanks to its green and gold feathers.

The weekend buzzed by as trail runners tackled 42km and 90km trails valiantly, gunning for their ‘tree medals’. All in all, funds to the tune of R16000 were raised for the Cape Parrot Project, including 146 trees that were donated by participants and supporters, alongside the 100 ‘tree medals’ that awarded the trail runners for their efforts.

In even more exciting news, the idea for tree medals will be ongoing this year so that the trail achievements can go further!

What is the Cape Parrot Project?

If you haven’t met the Cape Parrot Project before, the conservation champions part of the Wild Bird Trust’s initiatives have since 2009 (and thanks to Dr Steve Boyes) been champions to the Cape Parrot.

In their time doing good for the birds, they have planted 62 725 trees, restored 229 hectares of forest land (where invasive species are managed), established 3 community nurseries that support the livelihood of many and reached over 3500 people through outreach efforts all whilst raising awareness around the Cape Parrot and the beautiful but endangered birds’ chances at survival.

Currently, the Cape Parrot Project has a target of 10,000 trees for 2024. But thanks to their conservation community, the trail runners and creatives who make and sell beautiful knitted birds, the goal is getting closer to becoming a reality.

Why Does the Cape Parrot Need Trees?

Trees mean life, homes, healthy habitats and functioning ecosystems. Indigenous forests are essential for the Cape Parrots and other species, which is why the Cape Parrot Project has turned its efforts to restoring the Afromontane indigenous forests, as well as making sure alien vegetation is managed.

The trees made possible by the trail runners are set to be planted from September at the Madonna and Child restoration in Hogsback—making the effort a full circle experience.

You can get involved here.

Sources: Cape Parrot 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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