17 August 2017

South Africa: Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show Fails to Bloom Over Cape Drought

The worst rainfall in the Cederberg Mountains in more than half a century has forced organisers of the popular Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show to cancel the annual event.

The show was scheduled to take place between August 25 and September 2 in the historic Olifants River Valley town, but the worst rainfall in 64 years in the area has brought all that to an end.

"We could not go ahead with the flower show. This year the flowers are struggling and we only pick when abundant, in keeping with conservation," Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show chairperson Alida Stone said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Conservation is still our main priority."

Stone, however, emphasised that all other festival related activities such as music shows, art competitions, hiking trails and festival stalls would still continue despite the cancellation of the flower show.

Up to 400 different species of freshly cut flowers and plants are annually displayed at the festival in colourful displays in the town's historic church.

Rainfall in the Cederberg Mountains for the first seven months of 2017 has been the worst since 1953, Cape Nature Cederberg conservation manager Rika du Plessis said.

"The average rainfall measured at Algeria Forestry Station is 724mm per year. Last year it was 545m and if we continue with the rain pattern that we are currently experiencing, we won't even reach 300mm by the end of this year."

The Algeria Forestry Station is situated in the middle of the Cederberg Wilderness Area.


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