CHANGE OF ADDRESS or MEMBERSHIP STATUS

If you change your address, wish to resign or change your status, please notify the Botanical Society Head Office on (021) 797-2090. To receive this newsletter via e-mail (and save the Branch the costs of printing, packaging and postage) send your address to b.attwell@mweb.co.za.

AN INTERNATIONAL HONOUR FOR A BRANCH MEMBER

- Merran Silberbauer Dr Tony Cunningham, who is a member of our Kogelberg branch has recently received the Society for Economic Botany’s (SEB) 2016 “Distinguished Economic Botanist” award in recognition of his contribution to ethnobotany and economic botany over the past 36 years. This lifetime achievement award was presented to Tony at the SEB’s meeting in the United States of America based on his publication record, including the widely used book “Applied ethnobotany: people, wild plant use and conservation” (2001), which is also available in Spanish and Chinese and his contributions to mentoring students across…

SEPTEMBER WALK REPORT

- Tim Attwell Botsoc Walk 17 September 2016 Rod’s Trail, named after Rod Smitheman, architect, conservationist and former mayor of Betty’s Bay, is a gem sometimes overlooked simply because it’s in our back yard. The trail follows a two and half kilometre contour along the front of Voorberg above Betty’s Bay. As a showcase for Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, Rod’s Trail has no equal, especially in spring. A dozen or so members’ and guests’ faith that the drizzle would clear and the sun come out was rewarded with increasingly sparkling sunshine. Only the botanically obsessed would…

SEPTEMBER TALK REPORT

- Andrea Benn Saturday 17 September: Dr Peter Ryan, ornithologist, on “Oceans of plastic - impacts, sources and solutions to plastic pollution in marine ecosystems”. Plastic, plastic, plastic! Why do we use it? Because it’s versatile (soft plastic bags to hard kitchenware), cheap, lightweight, and has a very long lifespan. Have you ever thought that the plastic that was first produced is still around? Peter Ryan, our guest speaker for the September talk at Harold Porter Gardens, is based at the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute at UCT. With several publications to his name, his original interest…

SAVING THE CAPE FLATS SAND FYNBOS

You will no doubt be aware that a number of Tokai residents in Cape Town are taking SANParks and MTO (the company harvesting the commercial plantations at Tokai) to court to prevent the removal of the pines in Tokai Park. The Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, with its remarkable biodiversity, once covered all of Cape Town's lowlands and now sadly has been reduced to a mere 11% of its original extent with only about 1% formally protected. This is why the restoration of a large tract at Tokai is so very important. We are battling to…

DISA JEUGKAMP

- Allan Heydorn Removal of Acacia elata trees from the terrain of the Disa Jeugkamp At the end of a hack on the western border of the Disa Jeugkamp in October 2014 by members of the Hack Group of the Kogelberg Branch of the BotSoc, it was agreed that there is little point in removing masses of A. elata saplings (Australian Peppertree Wattle) as long as the row of mature, seed-bearing trees remains standing. It was clear, however, that this could only be done by invoking the assistance of the relevant authorities. Allan Heydorn was…

AGULHAS IN THE SPRING

- Rea Borcherds The Betty’s Bay Branch of the Botanical Society organised a three-day visit to the limestone and lowland fynbos and renosterveld of the Agulhas Plain. A group of 17 local botanical society members set out on 21 August, visiting the Cape Floral Kingdom Expo at Bredasdorp en route. Arriving at the Agulhas National Park in drenching rain, we gathered around a roaring fire in our Lagoon House accommodation for supper and a comprehensive presentation by Dr Allan Heydorn on why the Agulhas Plain is so interesting: geographically, ecologically, historically, and archaeologically. This is…

WALKS PLANNED FOR 2016

• Botsoc Walk 15 October 2016 “What lies beneath”. The rocks and soil beneath fynbos makes a difference; the vegetation we see is the product of the substrate we don’t see. Renowned botanist and botanical historian Dr John Rourke shows us fynbos vegetation growing only on Western Coastal Shale Band and points out how it is different from Sand and Sandstone fynbos. We hitch a ride in high clearance vehicles up to stunning views from Kasteelkop Nek high above Kleinmond. We amble down (not up!) a gravel road while Dr Rourke points out special features…