The FLORA Project

The FLORA project originated when members of the Wild Flower Society of Darling realized that too little was being done to protect the wild flowers of the district. They acted on this by establishing a trust that would finance a conservation project. It took 2 years to establish this trust which was eventually proclaimed as the Darling Wild Flower Conservation Trust.

After some discussion it was decided that a FLORA (a survey of all indigenous plant species) be compiled for the district of Darling. It is only after an extensive study has been done that one can truly determine where the need for drastic conservation is most pressing. Projects can then be scientifically planned and evaluated. This kind of survey has never been done in this region, mainly because most of the land is privately owned. The state of the biodiversity in the district needs to be established. Examples of the flora species need to be identified, listed and filed in a herbarium where they can be observed and studied. This herbarium, containing the samples and species lists, will be of benefit to tourism, education and conservation.

The region under discussion will be encompassed by the coast line in the west, the Silwerstroom/Mamre road in the south, across the Dassenberg to include Burgherspost and Riverlands. It includes the region south of the railway line running north to Klipberg until it ends against the southern border of the West Coast National Park north of Yzerfontein.

To establish the FLORA project the Darling Wild Flower Society earmarked R25 000 per annum for 3 years through the Darling Wild Flower Conservation Trust. This contribution has been favourably received by the larger conservational role players of the region, to the extent that partners for this project have already come forward. We thank The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve for the generous rand-for-rand donation for the duration of the project. The money has been provided by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape through the West Coast District Council’s grant to the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve.

The Cape Nature Conservation Department and the Botanical Society of South Africa are the other enthusiastic partners who have committed themselves to this project. Temporary premises for a herbarium at the Darling School have been found. Plants will be received, recorded, photographed, and pressed as examples of species. It is imperative that all species of plants are delivered and kept here. The feasibility of the method of collecting, storing and filing of the information and samples will determine the level of success of this project. If this project is successful, the whole of the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve might be included in this project.

 

It is only after an extensive study has been done that one can truly determine where the need for drastic conservation is most pressing.

The state of the biodiversity in the district needs to be established.

To establish the FLORA project the Darling Wild Flower Society earmarked R25 000 per annum for 3 years through the Darling Wild Flower Conservation Trust.

We thank The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve for the generous rand-for-rand donation for the duration of the project. The money has been provided by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape through the West Coast District Council’s grant to the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve.

 

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