Why this farmer has teamed up with us – to protect his Renosterveld

Why this farmer has teamed up with us – to protect his Renosterveld

Another Renosterveld landscape will now be protected forever – with a farmer close to Botriver committing his Renosterveld to conservation.

Farmer Philip van Niekerk of the farm, Ongegund, has signed a conservation easement with the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust.

That means that a conservation servitude is signed on his 427 hectares of lowland Fynbos and Renosterveld, which is attached to his title deeds in perpetuity.

Philip is the fourth farmer to sign an easement with the ORCT.

And that means just short of 1,500 hectares of Renosterveld are included in our easement programme, thanks to our partnership with the Table Mountain Fund (an associated Trust of WWF South Africa).


Why does THIS farmer want to protect his Renosterveld? Philip explains why this matters so much to him.

Here’s why it matters to us:

  • It means a further 367 hectares of Endangered Greyton Shale Fynbos is conserved;
  • As well as 30 hectares of Critically Endangered Western Rûens Shale Renosterveld;
  • It also conserves Philip’s National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas.



Renosterveld species we’re particularly excited about on his farm include the Endangered Babiana purpurea and Acrodon subulatus, as well as the Vulnerable Gladiolus abbreviatus. And of course beauties such as the Bartholina burmanniana.


What support do farmers get?

When signing a conservation easement, farmers join in a partnership with the ORCT. And with that comes a set of support actions to help farmers protect their Renosterveld. Here’s how we’re supporting Philip:

  • The ORCT will support fire management, including controlled burns, post-burn monitoring and maintaining a fire history map.
  • We’ll check invasive alien plant densities – and will support alien clearing efforts on burnt land.
  • We monitor wildlife on the farm.
  • We assess and map soil erosion and recommend or seek solutions.
  • And we continuously survey the Renosterveld species, collect key data, and communicate that info with our relevant conservation partners where agreed to by the landowner.
  • We may also assist with covering the costs of key management interventions in future.


Dr Odette Curtis-Scott, Director of the ORCT, says, “It’s often the future that’s at risk when it comes to conservation. Many farmers care about their Renosterveld. But who will continue their good work, should they no longer be involved? That’s what this signing is all about – protecting Renosterveld in the long-term.

“And we’re so grateful that Philip has taken this step with us – to protect his natural landscapes forever.”