15 Jaar vir Flower Valley

15 Jaar vir Flower Valley

Gansbaai Courant

“Wat ‘n groot oomblik vir ons is dit nie en hoe baie het ons nie oor die jare heen geleer en gegroei nie,” sê Flower Valley Conservation Trust se Uitvoerende Direkteur, Lesley Richardson. “Ons bestuurskomponent van net 3 in 1999 het na 10 gegroei, uitgesluit al die plaaspersoneel, interne werkers en vrywilligers.” In 1999 was daar sprake dat die plaas, Flower Valley net buite Gansbaai, in ‘n wingerdplaas omskep sou word. Carol Blumenthal het Fauna & Flora International (FFI) genader om die plaas te koop.

Die plaas, ‘n area van 540 hektaar, is deur FFI gekoop en die Flower Valley Conservation Trust is gestig om dit te bestuur, met enkele hoogtepunte wat hiermee uitgelig word. In dieselfde jaar is die bekende Flower Valley Early Learning Centre vir kinders tussen 2 en 6 jaar gestig, met die doel om na plaaspersoneel se kinders om te sien.

In 2003 the Flower Valley Conservation Trust was mandated through the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) to investigate ABI’s second objective: ‘Ecologically, socially and economically sustainable harvesting of wild fynbos is demonstrated as a viable land-use on the Agulhas Plain’. This set Flower Valley on the path to develop the Sustainable Harvesting Programme, a programme based on research, science and wide participation. The outcome was awarded a ‘highly satisfactory’ rating by the end of the project in 2010.

Gedurende dieselfde jaar koop die Trust die buurplaas, Witvoetskloof aan. Drie jaar later word Witvoetskloof aan Grootbos Nattuurreservaat verkoop. Later in 2011 word Fynbos Retreat, ‘n toerisme-samesmelting tussen Flower Valey en Grootbos, gestig. In 2012 word Flower Valley ‘n ondertekenaar van die Cape Action for People and the Envoronment en in 2013 tree hulle as ABI se koördineerder vir die ABI Alien Clearing Project op. Ongelukkig sluit die fynbos-pakstoor se deure in dieselfde jaar, maar dit het hulle op ‘n nuwe pad van ontwikkeling met vennote vir die Sustainable Harvesting Programme geplaas.

En nou - in 2014 - vier Flower Valley Conservation Trust hulle 15de verjaardag, met gelukwensing vanuit Gansbaai Courant se kantoor vir jare se suksesvolle en harde bewaringswerk.

Hardus Botha

15 Jaar vir Flower Valley

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