Invasive Alien Plant Clearing
While alien plant clearing has been an ongoing initiative of the Bottelary Hills Conservancy (BHC) the project has intensified since 2012.
It is estimated that in the Western Cape, 70% of Fynbos is invaded and 2.5% is severely invaded (Local Action for Biodiversity, 2010).
Invasive alien plant species threaten the fragile balance between ecosystems and the people benefitting from the services that those ecosystems provide. Biodiversity and water resources are at risk since invasive plants outcompete their indigenous counterparts. They consume more water and release toxins into the soil inhibiting seed germination.
Taking on the challenge of conserving biodiversity and water resources, the BHC offers a free service, supported by LandCare, to its members for the eradication and management of alien plants. Funds generated by the Conservancy mountain biking trails play a leading role in financing the project.
“Stem in die Bos”, a highly professional invasive plant clearing company based in Wellington, are contracted to fight invasive trees on behalf of the conservancy landowners. Their experience and knowledge ensures effective initial removal while follow-up treatments ensure long term eradication of invasive species.
During 2015, Stem in die Bos cleared 7 Conservancy member farms and are currently operating in the northern areas of the BHC. The notable difference can be seen in streams flowing again and the natural re-establishment of Renosterveld plant species.