Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve situated in the Klein River Mountains near Hermanus has for many years served as a study site for various students, botanists and environmentalists whose work has significantly contributed to the conservation of the flora and fauna in the area.
The reserve is steeped in botanical history of mention, botanist Rudolph Schlecter who made 94 collections as early as 1896.
Dr Ion Williams purchased the farm Vogel Gat on the 13th October 1969 and Vogelgat was proclaimed a private nature reserve on the 18th August 1971.
Dr Williams revised the genus Leucodendron and several genera in the Rutacea.
Dr. Williams’ great enthusiasm and wonderful field laboratory of Vogelgat
have resulted in the completion of graduate theses including
“An Investigation into the Forest Margin Dynamic” by T.I. Abraham (BSc. Hons);
“Deformation Structures in the Table Mountain Group” by R. Whittle-Herbert (BSc. Hons)
Phytosociological Study of a Private Nature Reserve in the Cape Province
Plant Succession after Fire in Coastal Fynbos
Check-List of the Flora in the Vogelgat Nature Reserve with response to Fire by Cheryl de Lange (MSc).
Other significant works include those of the Curator of African Botany, Missouri Botanical Gardens, USA,
Peter Goldblatt’s listing of the Geissorhiza species found in Vogelgat in the
ANNALS OF THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
and his inclusion of Morea vallisavium,
in THE MOREAS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA,
a species at present known only to occur in Vogelgat
Due to the untiring efforts of Dr Williams the reserve became one of the first (No. 5) South African Heritage Sites in 1985.
Vogelgat is nestled between two other nature reserves, namely Fernkloof and Maanschynkop nature reserves,
realising a continues swathe of natural fynbos across the Kleinriverberge.
The reserve is abundant floristically speaking;
965 species are found here with 13 considered Rare.
Of the 1665 plant species found in Vogelgat and the Fernkloof Nature reserves
131 are only found in Vogelgat.
As the reserve lies only 125km east of Cape Town,
it makes hiking and overnighting within easy reach for many of the members.
The waterfalls and unique vistas are two of the many attractions to its members.
The reserve has been one of the first private reserves previously zoned as agriculture I to be rezoned to Open Space III (2002).
The Management Plan is divided into two parts;
Part 1 covers the administrative, ecological and conservation background.
Part 2 covers the management background, approval, and revision procedures, acknowledgements, references, list of figures, appendices and abbreviations.
The Plan identifies and describes management projects. It is dynamic and should be revised regularly (between three to five years) from date of implementation, according to changing situation and priorities.
Board of Trustees
J. Williams (Chairman)
A. van Hoogstraaten
Western Cape Nature
The conservation of the natural ecological systems of the Vogelgat Nature reserve and the neighbouring land for the enlightenment and enjoyment of coming generations, in perpetuity.
By the year 2010, the natural environment and biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK) are effectively conserved along the Klein River Mountains chain as the Klein River Mountain Biosphere Reserve, with Vogelgat Nature Reserve being a core member.
Maintain ecological systems and processes
Maintain regular monitoring programs in order to audit sound management principles.
To maintain the healthy state of the Vogelgat River.
To limit visitor numbers by way of a permit system in order to control human impact on the environment.
To clear and maintain paths in such a manner that this maintenance does not impact negatively on the environment.
Conserve genetic diversity
Eradicate invasive alien plant species.
Prevent unnatural extinction’s of any indigenous species.
Educate and motivate local communities and resource users to promote and conserve the CFK.
Commit resources to act as an educational facility for the benefit of:
· Students doing their in-service training;
· School groups from the surrounding community;
· Students doing scientific research.
To ensure that all neighbours are aligned and mobilised towards a common vision,
policy and purpose for the conservation of the CFK.