The ORCT held an incredibly productive working dinner at Haarwegskloof this week. How can one not be productive in such an inspired setting, where one is greeted on the reserve by the flowering Nerine humilis!
We met with landowners surrounding Haarwegskloof to explore the possibilities of developing mountain bike and hiking trails that will connect Haarwegskloof to De Hoop Nature Reserve across several landowners’ properties within the critically endangered Eastern Rûens Shale Renosterveld. Many of the local farmers are mountain biking enthusiasts and spend many a weekend exploring the local landscape from agricultural lands to renosterveld and limestone fynbos. These landowners approached the ORCT to develop trails across their properties with Haarwegskloof as the flagship and accommodation hub. This will also allow us to link many renosterveld fragments through ‘trail’ corridors and create awareness of the spectacular ecosystems in the area.
Initially much time was spent pouring over maps of the area to discuss the best routes, corridors and existing trails in the landscape. It was then decided to not let a beautiful sunset go to waste and everyone headed off to the Haarwegskloof ‘Sundowner Spot’ to continue the discussions and do some different ‘pouring’.
It was then back to the Research Centre to enjoy a well deserved dinner and continue developing relationships in the best way possible… with much laughter! Jannie Groenewald showed off his spectacular knowledge of the fauna of Haarwegskloof once again by treating a few of us to the new Robertson Dwarf Chameleons that have been born in the past two weeks.
The evening was a great success and will allow the ORCT to meet our vision for the Eastern Rûens and develop strong local relationships in our Watercourse Restoration Project, funded by the WWF Nedbank Green Trust.
As one would say…. Watch this space, exciting things are on the way!
Enjoy the Easter weekend