History of the conservancy

The late 20th and early 21st centuries saw an unprecedented amount of up-market development on the Garden Route in the form of residential estates and Golf Estates, and applications for many more, such that there was huge concern on the part of environmental conservationists – professionals and NGOs – and including the Provincial authorities, that the best of this uniquely special area would be built over in no time. The hills above Belvidere overlooking the Knysna estuary and Buffels Bay were targeted for a 600 house development, hotel, service station etc. Belvidere residents were generally opposed to the development, and local landowner Susan Cambell sprang into action to coordinate opposition. It was Susan`s inspired idea to not only object to the proposed development, but at the same time to apply to Cape Nature for recognition as a Conservancy, as a first step to ensuring the protection of the highly conservation-worthy stretch of natural veld between the Knysna and Goukamma river estuaries. In 2004 the development was cancelled and the Conservancy established.