Skilderkrantz - Nature Reserve and Conservation Initiative
Kouga River just visible in the distance
Skilderkrantz Conservation InitiativeSkilderkrantz Conservation Initiative





 I love not man the less but Nature more

George Byron


Kouga River running through Skilderkrantz

The Time is Now

See the happy moron,

He doesn�t give a damn.

I wish I were a moron.

My God! Perhaps I am!


This little verse was lifted from Guy Watson's fabulous Riverford Farm cookbook and made me laugh out loud, because it has sometimes crossed my mind that if I just cared less I could have an easier life. But moron or not, I do care deeply about this magical planet-home of ours. Being engaged brings both agony and ecstasy. These are times of loss, but also exciting times to be alive as we stand on the brink of a last chance to boldly move from the Age of Ecocide perchance to an Age of Ecological Intelligence. An age in which we realise the folly of our headlong consumptive path to disaster and adapt to living harmoniously within the means of the earth.

Since I first conceived of the Skilderkrantz vision, much has changed for the worse on a planetary level. Yet our core aim is as relevant as ever: acquisition and rewilding of damaged marginal farmland to expand the core area of the Baviaanskloof Megareserve, enjoyment of the peace that comes from working close to the earth and giving others the opportunity to experience wildness and dark night skies. If anything the need for finding solutions to the unravelling of the planet, the need to bring more wildness into our landscapes and ourselves, the need for beacons of hope, has become ever more urgent. The challenges, not least climate change, have become much more real and at times scarily daunting. So it is also a time of readjustment. What is outside human influence we should not waste energy worrying about but we will need to adapt. What we can still change for the better, we should tackle with every ounce of our strength. If we as animals of so-called higher intelligence bring about our own downfall because we cannot rise above the very qualities that allowed our supremacy, to find some humility, then it is tragic irony, if not an obscene one. If we wallow in apathy allowing the destroyers to do their worst, then we are destined to blunder along and crash out like the dinosaurs, taking a lot of other species with us.

Let not our descendants ask in a hundred years' time (presuming there are any) "did they not see what was coming? Did they not realize they had to change their behaviour? Did they not hear the earth calling? Why did they not act while they still could?"

tranquil pool

Rhebuck ewes

Rescued leopard