Samara's bringing Spekboom to Local School

On Friday the 13th June 2014, Samara Wildlife Volunteer Camp will be planting over 150 Spekboom cuttings Portulcaria afra  at Narsings Straat Laerskool in Graaff Reinet. The Spekboom cuttings will be planted around the school’s vegetable garden to create a living hedge. The Spekboom will create a suitable refuge for beneficial insects especially bees and a source of mulch for use in the garden.

Spekboom, a remarkable plant indigenous to the Eastern Cape, has been extensively used to rehabilitate degraded land throughout the province. It is a valuable fodder plant for both livestock and indigenous wildlife especially Elephant and Black Rhinoceros. It has the ability to utilise two different photosynthetic pathways depending on the conditions and is drought tolerant. The plant does not require any pre-root treatment prior to planting, but can simply be placed in a hole 200mm deep and the soil compacted firmly to ensure successful growth.

The project aims to inspire in the youth of South Africa an appreciation for nature, and to expose them to conservation work. Hopefully this will be the first of many such initiatives throughout the province and will help to nurturing an environmentally conscious youth.

The project has been made possible from various members in the local community who have all contributed to making this educational and upliftment project a reality:

  • Peter Burdett and his team from Camdeboo National Park for supplying the Spekboom cuttings,
  • Lathallan School from Scotland,
  • David McNaughton from Karoo Connections for providing the transport,
  • Daaintjies Jaffta, Headmaster of Narsings Straat, for allowing us to choose his school