Editor's note

We had a very encouraging and enthusiastic response to our first on-line edition with great feedback on the excellent articles and photographs. Our authors have excelled themselves again and I am pleased to have Sarah Chiles reporting again from Kenya. Sarah was raised in Kloof and served as the Vice-chairman of our conservancy. She is now working for the African Wildlife Foundation based in Nairobi and brings a broad African perspective to the work we do. In her article she touches on the very pertinent issue of rivers which as you may know is a big topic for us in eThekwini as we are about to embark on the municipality funded Aller River Pilot Project Phase 1, a project aimed at addressing the issue of the ownership of river health by river communities. Sarah’s article refers to the impact of mega-projects on rivers but the lesson on river health and communities is remarkably similar to what we are experiencing at a local level!

I am also pleased to introduce orchid specialist Hendrelien Peters to our panel of writers and over the next three issues she will cover the fascinating and beautiful orchid species of our area – you will be surprised to learn how many there are!

Arend Hoogervoorst, is at his perceptive best and comments on the dangers facing our biodiversity using the example of the threats facing our pollinators to remind us that each one of us has a role to play in this – its not someone else’s problem!

Our Eco-Impi interview article for this issue covers the significant contribution made to environmental awareness by one of SA’s top environmental journalists, Tony Carnie. We explore how his passion and dedication to environmental issues was shaped and the impact he has made.

Anno Torr presents a fascinatingly different, and sensible way of looking at our gardens i.e. gardens as habitat resources. Each garden is an eco-system and Anno explains in very practical terms how each one of us can make a contribution to preserving our biodiversity just by changing our mind-sets and with simple, inexpensive actions.

Kloof Conservancy through projects such as Memorial Park and the History of Kloof display at Glenhome has a track record of supporting the preservation of the history of the area and this is extended through the articles that Robin Lamplough regularly writes for this magazine. In this edition he delves into the exploits of early naturalist William Burchell and the species he described which are very much part of the Kloof landscape.

In the previous edition well know author and conservationist Richard Boon described the iconic trees of Krantzkloof and in this edition he ends his review by looking at some of the rarer species of our area. Trees have a huge emotive impact on people and Richard’s article shows why.

It is always a challenge to get our three regular species authors to present their topics in an interesting way and for this edition they were given the mandate to describe what their species eat and how! Steve Woodhall (butterflies), Pat McKrill (reptiles) and Peter Spence (birds) have excelled themselves in their descriptions and photographs and I am sure you will enjoy reading this information which is not what you would find in a typical book on the species!

I hope you will enjoy reading this edition. As always your feedback is most welcome.

Paolo Candotti