Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
Conservation Manager at the Botanical Society of South Africa
Amelia’s first time in a conservation area was when she was 18 weeks old. That’s only start-rolling-over-age, but Rupert feels that the younger you get them out there, the better. These days the Cederberg is her favourite place to hang out. Having a dad who knows the names of all the plants obviously helps.
Rupert is the Conservation Manager for BOTSOC – the Botanical Society of South Africa. He’s a bit of a celeb in the fynbos world and it’s almost like the universe wanted him to land in this role. There were too many ‘right places at the right time meeting the right people’ instances for this to be coincidence. The fynbos has elected its representative.
He reels off a couple of fynbos jokes in what must be fluent Latin (we’re assured they are funny). In his company, it’s easy to get into Fynbos, and once you’ve started liking it you get absolutely addicted. This is the future of this endangered biome - the more people care, the more they will care for it. It’s ambassadors like this guy who make its long term conservation a conceivable reality.
The most important message is that it’s not that difficult to get outside. There is nowhere in South Africa where ‘outside’ is more than 30 minutes away. It’s free, it’s accessible and it’s good for you and your kids.
“They’re pretty because they’re pink!” yells Amelia at the top of her lungs as Rupert puts on her new pair of Hi-Tecs. I make a mental note to try to remember just how joyous a feeling 4-year-old-excited-about-getting-a-new-pair-of-pink-shoes is.