As those of us living here will know, this winter has without any doubt been the harshest in many years with ongoing cold fronts ensuring that we have chilly temperatures, gale force winds and fortunately lots of rain. A cold winter is also natural and good for the environment as it kills some unwanted bacteria etc. Whilst the dams feeding this area are not yet 40% full it’s a huge improvement on the 12% a few months ago where the municipality started installing tanks and water points in anticipation of Day Zero.

One lovely thing that has happened with our recent heavy rains is the resuscitation of a spring and a wetland in the Seal Point Nature Reserve. Feast your eyes on this area of incredibly great importance, which attracts frogs and birds and acts as a sponge to help prevent flooding. (See photos)

Foster’s team was working in the reserve and Dave Bowmer took the opportunity to record these incredible scenes  including the sighting of two ducks making their home at the large wetland. This is the first time we have had resident ducks since 2012.

Imagine this area under development or as a parking lot. How lucky we are that it is conserved. This would not be possible without the generous support of our members and especially funders that helps us to  clear and maintain these special places whist also enabling FOSTER to educate others to understand how crucial even small areas of wilderness are to our health and the planet’s.

This does mean that the amount of maintenance we need to do on the paths increases due to flooding and overuse by pedestrians in the wet areas. It of course also encourages the aliens to sprout, and the ongoing removal of these aliens remains a priority whist still finding clumps of particularly rooikrans deep in some of the valleys within all the reserves that we continue to eradicate. Whilst we would like to boast that our reserves are alien free due to the hard-working reserve management team, at best we can say that our reserves are some of the best examples in South Africa of how nature reserves should be maintained and look with minimum alien invasive species to be found.

FOSTER is in the process of developing a management plan for the reserves which is in line with our MOU with the municipality and we will be holding a public participation meeting on the 30th of August at the Cape St Francis Resort at 10h00. All are welcome.

We are fortunate to have a new committee member a young, committed businessperson and avid conservationist who will bring new energy and hopefully other younger members of the community to help take FOSTERS vision and work forward.

For those who don’t know or have maybe forgotten what our vision is –  here it is again.

FOSTER’s vision is to conserve, maintain, protect, and provide access to the biodiversity of the FOSTER managed Reserves, whilst promoting active stewardship of the environment through educational and collaborative activities of our members, tourists, the public and our stakeholders. FOSTER’s primary role is to nurture (foster) and preserve the biodiversity in the Irma Booysen, Seal Point, Seal Bay, and Cape St Francis Nature Reserves. Its secondary role is to ensure that the reserves can be enjoyed by the greater community and visitors through the maintenance of the walking trails and cycle paths that do not damage the sensitive dunes and vegetation found in the reserves.