Science. Nature. Time.

These are the ingredients we use to restore biodiversity in this mist-drenched forest in a country at the tip of Africa.

Ferncliffe is small: the remnant of a biome that originally stretched over about 2,000 hectares on the fringes of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. It still contains an astonishing diversity of life, from large mammals like bushpig and caracal, to unusual millipedes, amphibians, a carnivorous snail and the enormous, monkey-catching crowned eagle. Only 0.5% of land in South Africa is forested, and humid mistbelt forest makes up just a fraction of this.

Creatures at Ferncliffe
Connor Cullinan

These principles underpin our restoration work:

We work with nature, not against it, to thin, remove and replace alien vegetation.

We try not to use chemicals, which is more difficult but so much nicer.

We plant indigenous trees, grown in the area, and care for saplings to aid the forest recovery process.

We replant only where forest would have previously existed, and abhor monocultures.

We encourage rewilding, and allow natural forces to drive change.

We promote the establishment of wildlife corridors.

We believe people are part of nature, not a species apart.

We promote water catchment quality and protection.

We work with the other wonderful organisations, residents and individuals who care about this area to achieve our collective aims.