OVERBERG RENOSTERVELD CONSERVATION TRUST NEWS
Newsletter 2o, October 2019
by Dr Odette Curtis-Scott.
Rain? What rain? The Overberg drought is affecting Renosterveld too
While Cape Town may have received a significant amount of its much-needed rains this winter, the Overberg has not fared so well. After a beautiful start to the rainy season (when we all dared to hope that the drought was at last breaking), the Overberg has been deprived of much of the rain that many Capetonians had assumed had made it further up the south coast through July and August. The Overberg is currently in one of the worst droughts we have seen in years – and we have just experienced one of the driest Augusts ever recorded. Crops are failing and farmers are nervous.
How has the Renosterveld fared? Well, this has been incredibly variable. Overall, it feels
as though spring flowering started early, while at the same time there are some areas where flowering has not been what it ‘should be’ or typically is at this time of the year.
Despite this, we have, as always, had some interesting finds – and some areas, having received little bits of rain at the ‘right’ time, have continued to thrive. (We’ve included a gallery below of some of our favourite spring photos.) We hope this drought will break soon, as the well-being of our farmers and our ecosystems depend on it. Otherwise, it is going to be a very long, tough summer.
On a happier note, we are thrilled with the progress we continue to make on our Easement Programme – with extra hectares being added to the conservation estate for Renosterveld on a fairly regular basis (see below for some great news). We still have a mountain to climb – but we are heading in the right direction!
We are making a difference and we are being heard. The most tangible evidence of this lies in the growing number of Conservation Easements that we are signing up and thus the number of hectares that can now be considered ‘safe’.