Invasive Plant Control
Alien plants are those species that are not indigenous to South Africa. They were either brought into the country on purpose for food and timber production, for shade and as ornamental garden plants, or they came in by accident often as seeds in animal feed, or carried in by domestic animals or even on the shoes and clothing of travellers from other countries. Although South Africa has lost vast areas of natural vegetation to these alien species (e.g. sugar and wheat fields, timber plantations, fruit trees and vines), most of these species (with the exception of some of those introduced for wood or tannin production) do not spread aggressively. However, several of these alien plants have become invasive – in other words they spread, often extremely rapidly, from their point of introduction, displacing indigenous species in the process. Their spread is facilitated by the absence of natural enemies which would have controlled them in their country of origin such as insects and diseases.
One of the three main objectives of the Greyton Conservation Society (GCS) is the control of IAPs in the Greyton area. At present the GCS is actively involved in this vitally important task through a voluntary hacking group and through the employment of a part-time work force consisting of ten people trained to do the work on a continuing basis. Along with various stakeholders GCS is implementing an "Action Plan for the control of Invasive Alien Plants in and around Greyton".
The four areas covered by this Action Plan:
- Greyton commonage (Erf 595) including the urban areas
- Greyton Nature Reserve
- Greyton catchment mountains (to be managed by WfW)
VISION & MISSION STATEMENT
The Vision of the GCS is to have the four areas covered by this Action Plan cleared of infestation by the “Top 10” IAPs4 with only scheduled follow-ups required to control re-growth, and to have sustainable outcrops of planted trees to enhance pristine natural fynbos vegetation.
The Mission is to work with all relevant authorities, agencies and local residents to achieve this Vision with maximum buy in of all interested parties and to work in such a way as to be sensitive to the environment and the needs of the residents.