After these discussions, the committee set off for a field trip to assess the relative species richness in different grasslands. In two patches of grassland there has been no agricultural activity apart from cattle grazing and these were compared with an area previously planted with Popular trees but allowed to revert to grassland for the last decade or so. Even to the untrained eye, the differences would have been readily apparent.
All of the areas visited are burned annually as fire-breaks. The pristine grasslands seemed to be in good condition despite these regular fires and sporadic grazing. It was great to see Sandersonia aurantiaca (Christmas Bells) flowering amongst the Ornithogalum princeps and not far away Disa crassicornis and Rhynchosia cooperii in flower.
|Merensky and KZN Wildlife committee members in the field|
Participants: Anne S, Graham G, KZN Wildlife representatives Piet M and Derrek R and several of the Merensky forest managers.