Living Lands is active in three diverse landscapes in the Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa.
Each landscape has its own character, be it the remote Baviaanskloof, the quaint rural towns of the Langkloof or the famous wine region of the Cape Town Catchments.
The Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape is the most remote of the three landscapes. It is situated over 1 hour away on a rough gravel road from the nearest small town of Willowmore and 3.5 hours from the nearest city of George. Living Lands has had the longest presence in the Baviaanskloof and is embedded in this small farming community.
WHAT WE DO:
Collaborations are centred on the rehabilitation of degraded areas through active field rehabilitation, employing regenerative farming practices and wildlife management.
As the location is very remote, PLN participants are required to be highly flexible and self-sufficient. For instance, logistics such as transport and grocery shopping are challenging and there is extremely limited cell phone signal. The student house is situated on one of the farms, a 15-minute drive from the Living Lands Baviaanskloof field office. The house is equipped with Wi-Fi as well as a basic but comfortable set-up.
The Langkloof comprises the Kouga and Krom river catchments and straddles the Eastern Cape and Western Cape border. It is 2 hours away from both George and Port Elizabeth by road. The area encompasses multiple small rural towns, servicing the wide-scale commercial deciduous fruit farming community.
WHAT WE DO:
Collaborations focus on the management of invasive alien tree infestations, fire regimes, wild plant harvesting, regenerative cultivation of indigenous plants and understanding complex social dynamics.
The student house is based next to the Living Lands Langkloof field office, a 5-minute drive from the nearest town and accessible by bicycle. As the house is next to the office, students work closely with the Living Lands Langkloof team. The house has views of the Kouga and Tsitsikamma mountains from the deck. As well as that, it is equipped with Wi-Fi and has a large kitchen/dining/lounge area.
The Cape Town Catchments comprises two sub-catchments: The Upper Berg River Catchment and the Upper Breede River Catchment, both critical for water supply to the city of Cape Town. A broad spectrum of agricultural activities can be found in the area, but the main crops produced are wine grapes and other fruit.
WHAT WE DO:
Living Lands collaborates with a variety of stakeholders including farmers, government and other supporting organisations, particularly related to wetland restoration, invasive alien trees, the green economy, and stewardship.
The Research, Development and Innovation office is located on the outskirts of the town of Wolseley. It serves as a meeting point for researchers and landscape practitioners in the areas that are working on ecological infrastructure and rehabilitation. Besides that, it also functions as the field office of Living Lands for the Cape Town Catchments and is the ‘base of operations’ for this landscape.
The student house is located in the historic town of Tulbagh, a 15-minute drive from the office and shared with one of the Living Lands staff members. The house is comfortably furnished and includes uncapped Wi-Fi access. A grocery store and laundry facilities are within walking distance from the house. Cape Town is about 2 hours drive away.