Tuesday 1 January 2013

Explore The Ancient Trees of Africa Expedition 2013

Explore The Ancient Trees of Africa Expedition 2013
I touched in my last post on a trip my partner is taking for the whole of January explore the ancient trees of South Africa. As some may be aware my partner Geoff is a tree surgeon. I thought I’d share some info on this trip. As you will read this is not a work trip, no cutting down of trees! There is their website and Facebook group below to also have a look at as these will no doubt be update with photos and stories throughout the whole of January. It’s really very interesting, a real exciting adventure he is going on! Not jealous at all that tomorrow he will in South Africa in Cape Town in the sunshine, gearing themselves up for the journey ahead. I'm really proud of him for doing this and I know he will have a fantastic time!
Have a read of the details of the mission below and take a look at the sites!
South Africa has some of the most diverse range of habitats on the planet, and has incredibly rich levels of both biodiversity and endemism. The team plan to travel overland from Cape Town in the South, all the way up to the Limpopo province in the North East of the country, a journey of roughly 4000km.
South Africa is the fastest developing country in Africa, increasingly bringing humans into conflict with nature. Forestry and mining activities, as well as many other issues, are contributing to the devastation of once pristine habitats at an alarming rate. Unfortunately these activities are also South Africa's largest source of income and as such unlikely to stop anytime soon.

Working together with official government departments in South Africa, we aim to climb and record some of the countries key champion trees as well as begin the hunt for new noteworthy specimens. Some of these trees are beyond 80m tall and others such as the Baobabs are believed to be up to 4000 years old! By filling in gaps in official tree data, and by potentially finding and adding new specimens to South Africa's champion tree register, we can help get these trees protect by law and aid in the conservation of invaluable habitats at risk of being lost.

If we can beat the surveyors, foresters, mining companies and the hotel chains to these areas and get these trees officially recorded, then we may help to prevent further irreparable damage.

Although South Africa is the most developed country in Africa, there are still many areas that remain relatively wild and untouched. The terrain we will negotiate may be home to little known areas of forest that have avoided unwanted attention, and it is in these places that we hope to find the trees we are searching for.

One of the primary aims of this project is to help highlight the need to conserve our planets woodlands, forests and individual trees. Trees support life for a vast variety of other plants and animals, and are essential for life on Earth. It’s about time we started to realise their true value to all terrestrial life, especially our own.
The small team is made up of an international group of professional tree climbers, a pro photographer, and a top film maker. All lovers of the natural world and working at height, the team share a wealth of experience in all aspects of tree climbing and rope access. The team will be adaptable and dynamic in their approach to all aspects of climbing and exploring throughout the trip, and with a keen mind for innovation they are always looking to try out new approaches and techniques to overcome any challenge.

We aim to enjoy traveling in South Africa and climbing some of the most spectacular trees on Earth.
Through various media we want to share our adventure with others, and to champion South Africa's rich biodiversity. By telling our story, as well as the story of these magnificent trees, we hope to educate and inspire as many people as we can around the world.


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