MEMORIAL BENCH SURVEY AND NEW POLICY

Many of you participated in the survey posted on our Facebook page regarding memorial benches. Thank you. The responses clearly supported the idea of a controlled number of benches in the reserves, and the comments in particular expressed a desire for quality control and conformity.

Below is  the policy we have formulated from these results

FOSTER is unwilling to remove the existing benches, some of which were placed with the permission of the Municipality (who don’t currently promulgate a policy regarding this matter) and some without permission. Thus it will be impossible to achieve any kind of consistency in the appearance of the benches, unfortunately. In the future we will treat all unpermitted benches or other constructions as “res nulius” and remove them. We may slightly shift some of the existing ones to prevent further erosion on some of the delicate areas.

We appeal to the public to contact us if they’d like a bench placed. We will be asking a tax-deductible donation of R5000.00 over and above the cost of the bench, plaque and installation. We do not undertake to maintain the bench in perpetuity but will do our best to look after it in a reasonable manner. We will not replace it if stolen or defaced.

The committee will liaise with family members to find a suitable site for each bench, as limited areas will be suitable. Those interested should contact info@foster.org.za or inbox the Facebook page.

If anyone would like to read the survey results, please contact Emily on eb34@mweb.co.za.


SNARE REMOVAL

There has been a worrying increase in snares being set in our reserves and on Rocky Coast Farm.

This is a major problem because of the logistics involved in patrolling all the forested areas. We have been using volunteers for snare patrols as well as paid searches to limit the impact of snaring on our fragile wildlife stocks.

The discovery of a dead bushbuck ram that had been caught in a snare and left to die and rot was tragic for all of us. Again, lack of funds is a severe handicap.


INVASIVE ALIEN PLANT ERADICATION

FOSTER successfully applied for and received special funds dedicated to alien plant removal.

Today there is not a single seed-bearing alien plant in any of the nature areas that FOSTER manages!

The ongoing control of regrowth is funded by membership subs and donations from residents and visitors.

Donations also fund the clearing, maintenance and stabilisation of trails so that people can walk and cycle through groves of thicket trees, amongst aromatic fynbos and along the edge of the sea.

To all of those who continue to support us we are hugely grateful!


SIGNAGE

Funding for 15 signs was awarded by the Rowland and Leta Hill Trust. We also received special funding for interpretation and signage in the different areas of the network of St Francis nature areas.

These funds have been used for reserve signs, nameplates on trees and shrubs, interpretive pamphlets and trail maps.