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This biodiversity stewardship project aims to provide formal conservation protection for the area of the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, and beyond. 

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Doctoring a donga

In the late 1970s a water pipeline was laid from Northern Farm to Pelindaba, running through Hills and Dales, Roodekrans and over the Hennops River.

The construction company had no qualms about stripping a nearby property of topsoil, leaving no 65 Hills and Dales looking like a moonscape. Nature tried its best to cover the bare rock bed but big dongas developed down the slope, washing large quantities of sand and silt into the wetland and dams further down.

The present owners John and Carmen Maynard, tried their best to stop the destruction but finally the help of Working for Wetlands was called in.

“WfW is an employment project of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF),” says Carmen. “We feel it is very important to restore the waterways and wetlands on the farm. This is a big undertaking and the project manager explained that the gabions they will put in will make a succession of small dams in addition to the existing ones and that the property will look ‘splendid’ in two years time (his words!).”

A trained team of 40 workers will work on this project for some weeks. To allay security concerns about strangers in the area, they can be recognised by their blue Rand Water overalls and yellow safety hats. “The project manager lectured the workers about the need to respect property, not to litter and there are portable toilets available on site,” added Carmen.