SANBI Groen Sebenza: Interns fix fences at WWF: Oranjevlei Nature Reserve, Jacobsbaai

Oranjevlei Nature Reserve consists mostly of endangered Limestone Strandveld vegetation which is known for its high levels on endemism, especially in the form of bulbs and succulent plant species. One of the objectives of the CWCBR is to ensure adequate formal protection of such areas with high biodiversity value and to assist land owners in managing it effectively.

It has recently come to our attention that the biodiversity of the site is being compromised by people cutting the fences which allows the cattle from the surrounding area into the normally fenced-off reserve. The CWCBR took it upon ourselves to investigate and find the source of the problem. Practically, the fences had to be repaired quickly to prevent further intrusions of cattle into the reserve.

The CWCBR Groen Sebenza Interns had to learn quickly and pick up the skills required to work with a wire-tightner and wire cutters. Assistance was provided by oom Koos Claasen, a nearby resident also passionate about conservation and protection of rare species. Oom Koos borrowed the interns some of his tools and taught them the basic skills. After a hard day’s work and many small cuts and bruises, the fence stood proud once more. A proper lock and chain was put on the gate to keep vehicles out and a plan was devised for proper signage around the reserve.

The CWCBR already manage another nature reserve in Jacobsbaai, the AfriSam Saldanha Nature Reserve, and the two field officers were instructed to patrol the fence daily and watch for suspicious activities reporting it to the Conservation Manager and WWF.

Should this project prove to be a success, the CWCBR could in future take over the management of more WWF properties and other Conservation Stewardship sites on the West Coast.