The story

Heavy rainfall in the Baviaanskloof means responding immediately and preparing properly to make every drop of moisture count. Through a coordinated effort after recent rains, the team on the ground hand-seeded 140ha natural veld.

Rain in the Baviaanskloof is inconsistent. Over the last 6 years, the Baviaanskloof landscape has experienced a lower than average rainfall (300mm) and prolonged periods of drought. This puts pressure on water reserves, taking a toll on farming activities and threatening the water catchment area of Port Elizabeth. When the long-awaited rain does eventually fall, it is usually as a heavy downpour, often washing away roads and eroding soil – further threatening an already degraded landscape.

Last week, 70mm of rainfall – almost a quarter of the yearly average rainfall – fell over the course of one weekend. Heavy rain like this means preparing properly; ponding techniques help collect moisture and soil erosion structures prevent the loss of well-earned fertile soil. Meanwhile, everything needs to be in place to best use the sudden rainstorm to revegetate degraded land. That means accumulating and storing the right kind of seed, as well as having a mobile and agile system to quickly coordinate the team across a large area.

After the recent rains, a team from the Baviaanskloof Hartland Bewarea and Living Lands dusted off equipment, jumped into their trucks and set off across the landscape. Within 24 hours, the team hand-seeded 70 hectares of natural veld with native seeds as well as planting an additional ten hectare plot for a dryland grass trial. Three days after the rainfall another 70 hectares of natural veld was seeded where initial erosion control work was already completed by the Gamtoos Irrigation Board, an implementation agency of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestries and Fisheries’s Natural Resource Management Programme.

This is a great example of how proper preparation and coordinated-action is required to make the most of inconsistent rains and achieve significant restoration results.

An image for

A team from Baviaanskloof Hartland Bewarea and Living Lands hand-seed an area of 140ha

An image for

Seeding such a large area requires mobile and well-organised coordination

An image for

Scattering native seeds after heavy rains is an effective way to revegetate degraded land

1497 members are now active on, connecting, sharing their field experiences, and creating new opportunities and initiatives together.

Join us by signing up as a member, or follow our work in the newsletter

Connected landscapes

Rehabilitating the Langkloof and Baviaanskloof catchments


South Africa (Eastern Cape)

doing business, mobilising people, restoring nature

Related Landscapes

All landscapes

Accelerating the regenerative transition in Brittany


doing business, learning and impact, regenerating farms, restoring nature

Regenerating Shea Parklands across a savannah landscape


Ghana (Northern Region)

Active since: 2019

doing business, finding funds, inspiring community, learning and impact, partnering, regenerating farms, restoring nature

Growing “Green Pearls” in Haiti: regenerating natural and community resilience


Haiti (Sud-Est Department)

inspiring community, mobilising people, regenerating farms, restoring nature

The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve


Mexico (Querétaro)

Active since: 1987

doing business, finding funds, governance and stewardship, inspiring community, learning and impact, mobilising people, partnering, regenerating farms, restoring nature

More related resources

Our lifestyle change to Regenerative action.


Spain (Región de Murcia)

finding funds, inspiring community, learning and impact, mobilising people, regenerating farms, restoring nature

Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Development – micro-course


4 hours of self-paced modules

mobilising people, restoring nature

No reviews

Advancing the Forest and Water Nexus: a capacity development facilitation guide


co-design tool, educational tool, guide

learning and impact, partnering, regenerating farms, restoring nature

No reviews

Innovation test and prototype toolkit


co-design tool

doing business, learning and impact

No reviews

Tag a friend?