Whale Coast Nature Reserve

WCC is housed in premises on the private nature reserve farm 572/0 Hoek van de Berg, currently in the process of proclamation. The proclamation and restoration of WCNR will protect over 400Ha of fynbos in perpetuity. The landowners together with WCC have rebranded this land as the Whale Coast Nature Reserve (WCNR).  The aim is for this reserve to stand as a flagship example of ecosystem restoration, a wild space for inclusive use by communities living in the Whale Coast region that will be catalytic, educational and restorative. A Management Plan has been developed and the landowners are working in collaboration with Conservation Outcomes to regularise WCNR in terms of the Protected Areas Act. A good start has been made on Alien Invasive Vegetation (AIV) clearing and an area has been set aside on WNCR for Cape Dwarf Chameleons (permits from CapeNature issued to WCC) to which members of this vulnerable species threatened by development of their home habitats are to be relocated. Much more needs to be done.

WCNR is one of the last remaining unsettled areas on the Overstrand’s Whale Coast. It encompasses diverse habitats from marine to mountain and has a natural wetland area – all in need of restoration. It is situated in a Critical Biodiversity Area, and is under extreme threat from a number of pressures. It is vital that it remains a pocket of biodiversity and a place where vulnerable species can find a sanctuary in the context of rampant development in the area.  It provides one of the very few remaining corridors between the marine and mountain environments. This critical upland-lowland link has a variety of fynbos ecosystems and ecotones and has been designated by WWF as a Critical Climate Corridor, constituting as it does one of the last remaining undeveloped connections between the mountain catchment and ocean.

The WCNR provides valuable opportunities for WCC to expose people to pressing environmental issues through various initiatives including hands-on workshops and camps. Initiatives include alien invasive vegetation removal, fire and fynbos biodiversity, the urban/wild interface, the impact of marine poaching and litter, and the impact on wildlife and biodiversity of urban development.