Ferncliffe is a mistbelt forest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Blessed with a high rainfall in a largely dry country, it’s a magical tangle of vegetation at the edge of a city. It habours unexpected, often secretive creatures that dwell in and depend on the profusion of indigenous plants that grow here. But a tide of alien plants is threatening the ecosystem’s survival.
We work to clear alien vegetation that is strangling venerable old trees and clogging grassland. We plant and nurture appropriate species, encourage rewilding and record the change. And we create work opportunities. All thanks to your generous help.
Every indigenous forest on the planet is vital right now.
Land where wild things can thrive is vital for biodiversity. Even smaller areas near cities can be islands of life, which help other ecosystems replenish and recover. We work to expand and restore the remnant patches of this forest and its grassland fringes. And, where possible, weave them back together – like pieces of a Persian carpet.
The glowing Forest Weaver (Ploceus bicolor) stitches its nest together, starting from just a simple loop woven from creeper or vine. The bird, recently renamed the Dark-backed Weaver, sews a secure home, complete with entrance tunnel and an interior lined with soft material. Here, new generations are born.
Our base is the property where Connor grew up, which is still visited by bushpig, bushbuck and porcupine. Next door is the Ferncliffe Nature Reserve, with some ancient forest trees amid an advancing tangle of alien species. Come and explore with us.
(Want to hear what the Forest Weaver sounds like? This recording from Xeno-Canto is by Tim Cockroft.)