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Sport
Cycling for alien clearing

Mountain-bike enthusiasts can now enjoy the 92 km Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) trail network at the special mid-year permit rate of R400.

Make the most of the great outdoors for the remainder of 2021, and enjoy the wide open spaces of the BHRC that stretch across the rolling hillsides, conservation areas, vineyards and private farmland in the Bottelary Hills.

The ever-evolving network of MTB trails cater for various skill and fitness levels. Only 2021 BHRC annual or day permit holders are allowed access to the trails and bike boards must be displayed on handle bars at all times. Annual permits are available online at www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za and day permits (R70) and are sold at various park and ride spots including Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Hellsend Bike Compound in Stellenbosch as well as Engen Soneike and the security gate at Dwars in die Weg on Devon Valley road. Due to lockdown restrictions Asara, Neethlingshof, Jordan and Cycle2Ride are closed for permit sales. Take note that most of the access points operate on a cashless system with Zapper as the only payment option.

Less than 4% of the original Renosterveld in the Western Cape remains and only grows in very rich fertile soils, which is often replaced with commercial crops. The BHRC is fortunate to have large tracts of pristine Renosterveld in its area and has been declared as a World’s Heritage Site by Unesco.

Funds generated through permit sales are used mainly to subsidise alien vegetation eradication. While alien plant clearing has been an ongoing initiative of the BHRC, the project has intensified since 2012 following the opening of the Bottelary Hills MTB Trails in April 2011.

During the past two years alien clearing follow-up was done across 735,2 ha generating a total of 4 486 person days worked.

Game still roams naturally in the Hills such as Caracal, Grysbok, Grey duiker, Porcupine, Bat-eared foxes, Cape foxes and otters. There are also endangered reptile species such as the Diamondback tortoise only found in Renosterveld areas. More than 109 bird species have been identified and listed on the BHRC website.

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