Editor's note

We have another bumper edition with three guest authors in addition to our regular species authors and Arend Hoogervorst’s Opinion Column which looks at the impact of climate change in the context of the recent floods.

This edition will be released just ahead of Arbor Week in September and well-known tree expert Richard Boon has written an informative article for us on the two Trees of the Year for 2022. Charles Botha has written an article for us on what many will consider a controversial issue – “to feed or not to feed” birds. As a conservancy we strongly support the notion that nature must take its course with minimal human intervention. Given the abundance of natural food available for birds in our area we do concur with Charles’ basic premise “who is really benefitting?”

At our Kloof Conservancy Indigenous Open Gardens event in 2021 we were fortunate to have Helena Vogelzang at Jenny Dean’s garden demonstrating her auto harvesting beehives and enticing visitors with sweet offering from her hives. Helena has deep family roots in beekeeping and agreed to write an article for this edition which gives a small glimpse into a very important subject in the need to protect all our pollinators.

Robin Lamplough explores history combined with folklore and the human-animal interface in his provoking article which highlights the need to protect our green spaces.

Nick Evans was tasked with describing the Puff Adder and has done so in his inimically nonchalant manner – “If you had to feel a Puff Adder, which you should never do, I suppose”!

Our species authors were briefed to explore the link between their specialist species and legend and folklore. I have to admit that I did realise this would require a lot of homework on the part of the authors, but the feedback is that they relished the task and the articles reflect that. Nicolette Forbes, Steve Woodhall, Jeanne Tarrant, Marlies Craig and Pat McKrill’s articles are sure to surprise and delight many of our readers.

Our Eco Impi interview for this edition is with well-known estuarine scientist and current chairperson of BirdLife eThekwini KZN, Nicolette Forbes. Nicolette has played a significant role in the long-term viability of the St Lucia Lake system and through her passion and inexhaustible energy has demonstrated that science-based decisions deliver the correct solutions for the environment.

Sincere thanks to all the authors and to our Graphics Editor, Jo Sobey for once again producing something that is not only a pleasure to read but pleasing to the eye as well!

I hope you will enjoy this edition and as always, your feedback will be most welcome.

Paolo Candotti
July 2022