During then fire that raged through Knysna on the 7th of June, Pledge Nature Reserve suffered severe damage to at least three quarters of this cherished green heart of Knysna. A declared nature reserve, the 10 hectares of forest fynbos, streams and ponds was home to 300 noted species of plants and 90 species of birds. Regular sightings of a grysbokkie, spotted genet and porcupines confirmed that mammals were quite happily living here and we can only speculate whether they survived the flames or not. This unfortunate event has also created the opportunity for invaluable research and we will closely monitor the natural processes and regrowth after the fire.
With ideal conditions, gentle rains and cool conditions, we can be optimistic that in time nature will recover, but we should prepare for the worst, and will therefore be implementing measures to minimise erosion in the event of heavy rainfalls. To date we have successfully controlled the major invasive plant species but we foresee a vast increase in germination after the fire and which will have to be eradicated as soon as possible.
Our offices, store rooms, information centre and manager’s home and contents was completely razed. Fencing, bridges and walkways were badly burnt and need to be replaced or repaired before the reserve can be opened for visitors again. The reserve is managed by the Pledge Nature Reserve Trust, a non-profit organization, and we depend on donations and volunteers to manage and maintain the reserve for the benefit of all residents and visitors to Knysna. Any help in the form of time, money or skills will be greatly appreciated.
For more information or to volunteer please contact Nanna Joubert on 082 773 4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org or for donations our banking details are: