National Garden Day

Sunday 17 October 2021 is South Africa’s National Garden Day.

The day encourages people across South Africa to celebrate their green spaces and gardens regardless of the shape and size.  Whether it was taking care of one or two houseplants, growing flowers, or an entire veggie patch, lockdown turned many people into part-time gardeners, making Garden Day this year especially appropriate.

Whether you enjoy a braai or picnic with family in your garden , attend a workshop or visit one of the many Botanical Gardens there are numerous ways to celebrate.

Happy gardening!

Great Southern Bioblitz 2021 – southern Africa

6 Cities, 8 regions, 1 province and 2 countries in southern Africa and 2 in central Africa are taking part in the Great Southern Bioblitz 2021. Please join in the fun! For participating cities and countries visit the INaturalist Project Umbrella page.

If you live in or can visit one of our participating cities from October 22-25th 2021, you can take part by recording any plants, animals or fungi within the city boundaries. This involves taking photos and uploading the observations. We recommend that you consider using the smartphone app, uploadable on the address strip below.

If you unfortunately cannot make it, you can still help by helping us with identifications. These can start on 22 October, but need to be done by by the deadline (TBC). You can help any city – or all of them: especially if you are knowledgeable in some groups. Please watch the journal of this project (join to get updates), and the Facebook page for details.

Contact your local CREW or Friends groups or your local reserve manager to see what they have planned in your area.

Text adapted from INaturalist

Local Wildflower Reserves Maintenance & Management

Maintenance of the fences of the Darling Renosterveld and Groenekloof wildflower reserves is being undertaken by a team managed by the chairman of the Darling Wild Flower Society, Mr. Charles Duckitt. Further weeding has taken place of the alien species in both reserves – there is an ongoing plan to be worked during the year to clear paths and manage the veld. Funding for equipment and labour has been made available by Swartland Municipality.

October 2021

Darling Wildflower Society Committee Outing

On 14 September 2021 the Darling Wildflower Society committee donned their walking shoes to enjoy a committee outing to the recently proclaimed Niuwepost Conservation Area located on Burgherspost Farm outside of Daring. The group was guided by the very knowledgeable Jacques van der Merwe who once worked and still lives on Burgherspost farm. Jacques, assisted by the Darling Wildflower Society chairman and wildflower story-teller of note Charles Duckitt had the committee enticed for almost two hours!

Thanks to the unique composition of granite renosterveld, renosterveld vlei (wetland) and Atlantis sand fynbos the reserve has a multitude of wildflowers of which many are endemic to the region and occur nowhere else in the world! The pan attracts a variety of birds including flamingos as well as several frog species, while the surrounding areas provide habitat for small mammals, reptiles and rodents.

Open to the public during spring (August/September) the reserve is located off the R315. From the R315 take the Darling Cellars road and continue approx. 5km towards Cloof Wine Estate. The reserve and parking area is on your right – lookout for the signboard.

Guided wildflower walks can be arranged with the Darling Wildflower Society but here is a sneak peak of the wildflowers you may find. Visit the Darling Wildflower Society social media platforms for more things #darlingwildflowers.

Happy Spring 2021

Spring has officially arrived and the Darling hills are painted in vibrant colours. Carpets of white rain daisies and bright orange gousblom with splashes of yellow Arctotheca (Cape Weed) and Ursinia (Parchute daisy) as far as the eye can see.

Darling and the West Coast is located within the Cape Floristic Region and is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Many of the species found in the area occur no where else in the world. The Darling Wildflower Society is committed to promoting the conservation of the endemic and indigenous wildflowers of Darling and surrounds among landowners and remains actively involved with the maintenance of the two municipal wildflower reserves in Darling.

To celebrate spring 2021 here are some of the more recent wildflowers observed along the nature walk in the sandveld and renosterveld vegetation at Groote Post Vineyard.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more things wildflower.

Darling Kids Holiday Program – Youth Day 2021

The Darling Wildflower Society Kids Holiday Program was established as an youth environmental education project of the Darling Wildflower Society in 2018. Children aged nine to thirteen from the Darling Outreach Foundation took part in a number of excursions during 2018 and 2019 including a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Kids Holiday Program was put on hold during 2020 and after almost a year of dormancy the Darling Wildflower Society and children are equally enthusiastic about the reinstatement of the program. During 2021 children between the ages of nine and thirteen from the Darling Outreach Foundation will take part in a number of environmental education and outdoor based activities as well as visiting the various parks and reserves in the area. Going forward the Darling Wildflower Society will be working closely with CapeNature and others such as the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve in order to creating lasting partnerships which will not only ensure the longevity of the project but also ensure that the project adds real value to the children.

The project is funded by the Darling Wildflower Society and any donations are very welcome. Contributions do not have to monetary and can be food for packed lunches, transport of children and facilitators to venues or materials such as stationary and educational children’s books. For more information how to contribute to the project please contact us at info@darlingwildflowers.co.za

On Youth Day 2021 a group of ten children from the Darling Outreach Foundation visited the West Coast Fossil Park at Langebaanweg. This was the first time any of the children visited the West Coast Fossil Park which is less than an hour from Darling. The children were welcomed by their guide Darryl of the West Coast Fossil Park before taking a guided tour of the fossil dig-site and museum followed by a packed lunch and quick scramble on the jungle-gym before heading back home to Darling.

More photographs on our Facebook Page.

Country Storage Sponsorship

The Darling Wild Flower Society would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Country Storage for sponsoring two secure containers at their facility located at 36 Caledon Street, Darling.

The building at the Darling Sports grounds which was used to store the equipment and materials for the wild flower show was burgled on separate occasions during February 2021.  Among the items that were stolen are hessian bags, shade cloths, baskets and steel pots, tables and stands. The break-ins where reported to the local SAPS and the case is ongoing.

Country Storage was established in 2017 and is the first registered self-storage facility in the area. Country Storage offers neat, clean and secure parking and storage at country prices.  Visit the Country Storage website or Facebook Page by clicking on the links provided below the photograph. 

Swartland Municipality Proposed Protected & Conservation Areas Management Plan

Notice to register for the Public Participation Process for the Development of a Management Plan for the Swartland Municipality Protected and Conservation Areas in Darling, Malmesbury and Yzerfontein.

Members of the public are invited to take part in the consultation process for the development of a management plan for the development and management of protected and public conservation areas by registering as an Interested and/or Affected Party (I&AP).

The identified areas include the Darling Groenkloof and Renosterveld Reserves, Klipkoppie and Driehoekpad Conservation Areas in Malmesbury and 26 public open spaces in Yzerfontein.

I&APs are invited to register and provide any preliminary comments, enquiries or concerns in writing no later than 22 January 2020 at Swartland Municipality. Contact details are:
Post – Private Bag X52, Malmesbury, 7299, Fax – 022 487 9440
E-mail – swartlandmun@swartland.org.za

Provide the project name, your name, address and contact details as well as preferred method of communication. Also indicate an personal, business, financial or other interest in the project.

Should you have any questions contact Swartland Municipality at 022 487 9400