ANNUAL CEDAR TREE EVENT AT HEUNINGVLEI,

CEDERBERG WILDERNESS AREA ON 23 MAY 2009

The annual Clanwilliam Cedar Tree event will take place at Heuningvlei in the Cederberg Wilderness area on Saturday 23 May 2009. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, winner of the Relais & Chateaux Environment Trophy (2007) is supporting this conservation and community initiative for the 9th year, in association with Cape Nature and the Botanical Society, as well as new co-sponsors, red espresso® and Just Trees. Other participants include the Wildflower Society and the Cederberg Conservancy, as well as local schools. Enquiries and bookings to attend: Bushmans Kloof Tel 021 685 2598 or jill@bushmanskloof.co.za

A South African Natural Heritage site, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat is dedicated to restoring and preserving the surrounding 7500 hectare reserve to the splendour of centuries ago. This led to Bushmans Kloof giving its long-term commitment to assist  CapeNature and the Botanical Society in an effort to save the endangered Clanwilliam cedar tree (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) from extinction.

The endemic Clanwilliam cedar tree occurs only in the Cederberg mountains, some 250km north of Cape Town, and it represents one of 1 000 surviving conifer species in the world. The species is categorised as endangered on the Red Data List as it is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. To date the project has initiated the planting of more than 200 young cedar trees in the Cederberg area.

New co-sponsors of the Clanwilliam Cedar Tree project, red espresso® and Just Trees have committed to propagating, growing, transporting and replanting 1 500 cedar trees into the Cederberg this year – trebling the 500 young cedars that are being grown each year. The initiative is already underway with the first seeds being sown at the Just Trees nursery in Paarl.

In what has now become a greatly anticipated botanical event for the local community, the annual Cedar Tree planting will this year be taking place at Heuningvlei, a rural village in the Cederberg, on Saturday, 23 May 2009. Now in its 9th year, this significant event also involves the community members of Heuningvlei, as well as children of the local Elizabethfontein Primary School and other schools from the area, where it forms an important part of environmental and conservation education. Members of local groups such as the Botanical Society, the Wildflower Society and the Cederberg Conservancy also participate.

Rika Du Plessis, Cape Nature Conservation Manager at Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve will be present to underpin the day’s activities that will include the planting of cedar seeds that will be transported to Bushmans Kloof. Here they will be nurtured in the nursery until they have reached a growth stage where they can be transplanted safely back into the wilderness. The highlight of the day’s events will be the planting of mature seedlings in the grove and the surrounding wilderness area. 

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS

Saturday 23 May 2009

10h00 – 10h30           Refreshments on arrival

(Gate at the top of the Pakhuis Pass will open from 08h30)

10h30 – 10h45           Welcome by Rika Du Plessis (Cape Nature)

10h45 – 13h00           Planting of the trees in the Wilderness Area

13h00 – 14h30           Refreshments are catered for by the Heuningvlei

Community, and lunch is provided by Bushmans Kloof

14h30 – 16h00           Planting of mature trees in the Heuningvlei Grove and seed

planting with the children

Please bring hand spades for the planting of the small trees and big garden spades to create the fire break around the plantation.

To attend: contact Jill Wagner on Tel 021 685 2598 or email  jill@bushmanskloof.co.za. (Guest numbers required for catering purposes)

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