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Collaborative Efforts Ensure the Restoration of Cederberg Trails After Floods

Collaborative Efforts Ensure the Restoration of Cederberg Trails After Floods

In the wake of the recent floods that impacted the Cederberg region, Love our Trails has inspired a collaborative spirit. Working in close partnership with Cape Nature, Driehoek Guest Farm, and a dedicated group of select guides, playing an instrumental role in the restoration and reopening of trails that were severely affected by the floods.

Founder of Love our Trails, Blake Dyason, pointed out the crucial role that collaborative efforts play in maintaining and preserving trails in the Cederberg. With the exponential increase in trail activity, landowners and managers, including Cape Nature, have found it challenging to upkeep the trails to the required standards. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the trail community has to rally together to ensure the sustainability of these trails for generations to come.

Over the years, Love our Trails has actively fostered a collaborative approach to trail maintenance, bridging the gap between land managers and volunteers. This commitment was showcased during the “Keeping it Wild in the Cederberg” event held in partnership with Driehoek Guest Farm in May 2023. The event not only featured inspiring speakers but also engaged volunteers in vital activities such as trail clearing, litter collection, and tree planting. It provided a platform for like-minded individuals to unite with a shared purpose: safeguarding the Cederberg environment.

The “Keeping it Wild” weekend sparking fresh ideas and forging new partnerships. One such idea birthed from this event is the creation of a volunteer program designed to aid Cape Nature in auditing and maintaining trails.

In the aftermath of the devastating floods in June, Love our Trails assembled a dedicated team of guides to undertake an audit of over 100 kilometers of trails in the Cederberg. This audit proved to be a resounding success, with the guides not only clearing obstructed paths but also meticulously documenting areas that required attention. Their observations encompassed trail erosion, overgrowth, rockfalls, water drainage issues, and other environmental concerns.

Armed with these insights, Cape Nature dispatched a skilled maintenance team to rectify the issues highlighted in the audit. Thanks to these combined efforts, the trails were restored and accessible to the public by the end of July.

However, this triumph marks just the initial stride in Love our Trails’ ambitious journey. Looking ahead to 2024, the organization has outlined ambitious goals. These objectives encompass the training of a dedicated team of guides in trail audits and basic maintenance, establishing a well-structured trail audit and maintenance schedule, and imparting training to individuals from local communities in the Cederberg. The aim is to empower these communities to undertake regular trail maintenance.

This endeavor naturally calls for financial support to sponsor the training of the auditing team and provide funds to compensate local trail builders for their invaluable contributions.

In a world often beset by challenges, the collaborative spirit showcased by Love our Trails, Cape Nature, Driehoek Guest Farm and the guides stands as a testament to the transformative power of collective action. They are not just restoring trails, but also laying the foundation for a future where nature and community thrive hand in hand.

A special thank you must go to Dawie Burger who has been the backbone to making this project a success.

Meet the guides who make up the auditing team: 

Blake Dyason, Cara Cormack, Rob French, Stu Summerfield, Yvette Ebertsohn

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