Pledge Nature Reserve

Contact Information
Tel No: +27(0)44 382 3712
Mobile No: +27(0)83 629 9201
GPS co-ordinates : 23°04’31″E
Street Address: 10 Bond Street
Upper Central

Before the decision was made to rehabilitate the 10 hectares of bush above Knysna’s main road over two decades ago, it was a wasteland. The verdant heart of Knysna is a precious piece of purely indigenous flora known as the Pledge Nature Reserve – a pleasantly quiet, arcane, sanctuary where members of the public can escape in unfettered natural surroundings. Today it is hard to believe that it previously was a brickyard dump.

Concerned townsfolk were instrumental in having the Reserve proclaimed by Government Gazette in 1991 and a 99 year lease concluded with the Municipality. With the collaboration of S C Johnson, makers of Pledge Furniture Polish and Floor Wax they established the Pledge Nature Reserve Trust in 1993 with the following proclamation: “We cannot lead lives of dignity and worth when the natural resources that sustain us are threatened and destroyed.”

What followed was a concerted, and eventually highly successful, attempt to eradicate alien growth and restore the area to its original splendour. These efforts are continued daily. The Reserve falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom which, with its 8600 plant species, is the worlds’ richest temperate flora. With no intention of establishing a formal botanical garden, a unique setting has been created with the careful regeneration of forest, fynbos and wetland. A series of streams feed dams that trap silt washing into the valley where over 100 types of indigenous trees and shrubs may be seen along the different trails.

The re-establishment of this original natural setting has attracted a large number of bird species from the Streakyheaded canary to the Whitenecked Raven as well as the occasional tortoise.

With such a portfolio, it has attracted another species too. Humans wishing for a meditative moment can stroll along the many pathways, stretch out beside one of the tranquil pools or reflect on life at one of the benches in the shade.

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