In the Riebeek Valley, we are surrounded by majestic mountains. These mountains are not only a biker’s and hiker’s paradise, but it is also the home of one of the most endangered plant communities in the country, Renosterveld. One of the Valley’s late heroes – Stephen Cousins – did his doctorate on the Renosterveld, and about a year ago, together with local authorities and farm owners, co-ordinated a controlled burn of the Swart Dam mountain. After the burn, the veld not only quickly recovered, but turned into a paradise! Fields of flowers, some on the endangered list, and resprouting plants dazzled the eye, and a wonderful discovery were made – a plant that has not been seen in 180 years and now resurfaced after the fire. Insects and rodents and birds love this new life.
This year sees another controlled burn, this time on the Kasteelberg mountain. (All the details can be noted below.) Though the plant life is not the only reason for the burn, it is something that is physically noticed, and appreciated, afterwards!