Silvermine Nature reserve is on my doorstep, its the mountain range that embraces the Deep South Valley.
Its is an incredibly diverse landscape filled with the fynbos & Protea Flora kingdom.
Fynbos itself grows in a 100 to 200 km wide coastal belt, stretching from Clanwilliam on the West Coast to Port Elizabeth on the South East Coast.
Its is one of the worlds 6th floral kingdoms, and Fynbos being the smallest & richest of them all.
We have over 9000 species of plants which grow nowhere else in the world. How incredibly special.
These images are Montane fynbos from the Cape Fold Belt. An area thats spans a total of 45 000 km2.
The same level of floral variety, including all three characteristic fynbos families, is found there, but ericas predominate. Because the higher and wetter areas are more protected and contain important water sources, the original flora is more intact than in the lowlands; but agriculture and global warming are still threats.
Large parts of the fynbos region have been inhabited for centuries, and only a small portion is protected. The lowland areas are especially prone to be developed for agriculture and viticulture, or through urban expansion along the coast especially around Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Fynbos areas are also threatened by the spread of invasive alien species, in particular wattle and acacia species from Australia, as well as pine plantations in the Cape Fold hills. Many species have become extinct, and more than 1000 are endangered. Their conservation is a priority, and reserves have been established in many areas.
Fynbos areas are a popular attraction for tourists, especially in the vicinity of Cape Town, and are also important recreational areas for locals.
These images were taken before the devastating fires of March 2015
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