Botfriends Alien Clearing Project (BACP): Start

Botfriends alien clearing project area
The BACP will extend over both sides of the Bot Estuary

The Botfriends Alien Clearing Project (BACP) Start is an initiative to expand the work of Botfriends to a much larger clearing endeavour in the Bot estuary and environment, to take place over three years: the Botfriends Alien Clearing Project (BACP).  The project spans the area of the immediate drainage area of the estuary which includes a section of the west bank, including Rooisand, the northern edge of the estuary and the eastern edge of the estuary, including Benguela Cove, Fisherhaven, Meerensee and then through Hawston to Hoek van die Berg.

This area is a mixture of public and privately-owned land. The south eastern edge, including Fisherhaven, Meerensee and Hawston, is particularly badly infested with alien vegetation. This also includes numerous wetland areas which are particularly sensitive. Some of these wetlands are 100% invaded with alien species, with the attendant great reduction in biodiversity

All of the area falls within the Kogelberg Biosphere (an environmentally protected zone despite the fact that it has human habitation). The estuary and its environs have been declared an international RAMSAR site (protecting wetlands of international importance). There is no land-use plan for the area at present and existing environmental assessments are based on incomplete and very sketchy data. The project plans to do the following:

  • clear all aliens in the region (mostly Port Jacksons, Rooikrans, Australian myrtles, invasive pines and eucalyptus species)
  • re-establish wetlands in the Paddavlei ecosystem and parts of the Afdaks ecosystem
  • develop biodiversity corridors for flora and fauna from the mountains to the sea in the following areas: from the estuary up the Paddavlei to the proposed corridor on Hoek van die Berg (from the sea to the mountains), a second between Fisherhaven and Hawston through the wetlands (across the R43 to the mountains), and a third corridor linking the estuary up a tributary of the Afdaks River to the mountains
  • deliver a database which is also applicable to the greater Overberg area and establish a detailed potential land-use plan to inform environmental assessments and developments.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Botfriends Alien Clearing Project (BACP) Start in some way, we’d love to hear from you.  We will need funding, oversight from interested and knowledgeable experts in the field and also marketing and fundraising person-power. Email us at [email protected].

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