An exciting tree project close to our hearts

Tree project

Whilst visiting South Africa recently Philip was keen to visit the masterminds behind the charity Sustainable Ceder.  He met the two people who set up this fantastic charity and who are giving back to the local landscape previously destroyed by human intervention. The tree project goes along way to restore this.

Dawie and Lyzette

The Cederberg Mountain Range and the tree project

Growing up close to the Cederberg Mountain Range in South Africa, with its vast landscapes and beautiful vistas, Philip was fascinated to find out why it was named after the tree itself, the endangered Clanwilliam Ceder (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis)

When Philip first saw these trees during a previous visit, he was blown away both by their character and resilience. From an early age, the allure of these towering giants beckoned him to delve deeper into their rich history.

A rocky mountain with trees and blue sky

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Determined to contribute to restoring the natural splendour of the landscape, he wanted to understand more about Sustainable Ceder’s mission. Despite being miles away in the UK, Philip was moved to support their cause through donations to the charity and contribute to the tree project any way he could.

With his first donation he wanted to visit the charity and upon arrival was given the warmest welcome by Dawie and Lyzette: “the friendliness and passion of these young people is incredible” remarked Philip on his return. He felt so privileged to be driven around the incredible landscape and ancient mountain range, and was invited to see the sunrise from the top of the mountain, up at 5.00 am to catch the glorious sunrise. 

“In awe of it all” 

Ascending the mountain’s peak under the cloak of dawn’s first light, Philip was spellbound as he took in all in the wildlife, the trees, the light- completely in awe of it all.

Two men sitting on rocks and smiling

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He sat and listened as Dawie regaled him with stories about the Ceder trees’ past and why they were felled to be used for telephone poles and other products. He explained to Philip about the project and how they collected seeds from the trees and, although tricky, found a way to germinate them. After three years of being nurtured in the nursery, they were happily able to be re-instated in their original setting.

The future for Ceder’s Tree project

Dawie is very keen to involve the local community in the project and wants to encourage the younger people to participate in planting, using a specially designed rucksack to carry the small trees on their back.  In the very mountainous regions, Dawie uses drones which drop balls of seeds in areas which are too rocky to access on foot. 

tree project with sustainable ceders

This project has many benefits for the local community, including the economic rewards of eco-tourism and the re-establishment of the local landscape for generations to come.  

Reflecting on his experience, Philip felt grateful for the opportunity to connect with passionate individuals working to preserve this environment. It was a meaningful journey that left him inspired to continue supporting the cause from afar.

To find out more about the Sustainable Ceders tree project please follow this link.