The Western Cape Umbrella Association For Conservation of Private Land

Who we are

Our members consist of conservancies and conservation minded landowners of the Western Cape. See map under the About us Section for more information.

Liz Eglington

C@W Chairperson

Liz Eglington is the owner and farmer of Blue Sky Organics, which became the first certified organic olive farm in South Africa in 2001.  She served on the Board of the SA National Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) for 7 years and was instrumental in formulating the SA Organic Policy Document. Liz was awarded Woman Farmer of the Year in 2005 and is a passionate conservationist who runs workshops and training courses on her farm showing how agriculture and conservation can be synonymous.

Mossie Basson

Mossie Basson started his conservation career as ecological planer for Transvaal Nature Conservation 1980, this followed with experience as reserve manager of Suikerbosrand nature reserve, district service manager for Thabazimbi and specialist conservationist Eastern Cape Stewardship programs and then special investigation unit of the Eastern Cape, District service manager stationed at Vrolijkheid. Mossie is the Conservation Manager at Graham Beck Farms since 2002 and under his mentor ship the farm established Biodiversity Campion status in 2006. He was instrumental in the formation of the Rooiberg Breede River conservancy 2006 and the Karoo Conservation Fund with The Wilderness Foundation and The Game Reserve Brand of wines

Heather Epstein

C@W Secretary

Heather Epstein is a part time scientific researcher at UCT .She partners running a small export Protea farm and has been actively involved with the Schapenberg Sir Lowry’s Conservancy since its inception in 2000

Kei Heyns

C@W Treasurer

Kei, hailing from Plettenberg Bay, has an academic conservation background graduating with a BTech, cum laude, in Nature Conservation from Saasveld, NMU George Campus. Kei is senior ranger at Fransmanshoek Conservancy near Mossel Bay, where he is actively engaged in natural resource management of the area. He is an outdoor enthusiast, which reflects in all aspects of his life. His love for the outdoors spills over into the facets of his work which focuses on maintaining the integrity and health of ecosystem services. He believes that by fostering care for the natural environment that sustains us, will in turn instil an increased health and well-being for all. Kei has a keen interest in Socio-ecological systems thinking and resilience science.


Di Marais

Dianne Marais has been with Conservation at Work from its inception as WCCSA in 2006. Dianne saw the association grow to where Conservation at Work is today. Dianne Marais a microbiologist by trade, is the chairperson of the Hermanus Botanical Society and involved in the conservation of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and surrounds. Dianne has a passion for the environment and has been actively involved in the conservancy environment for the past 20 years with many great success stories of which the Schapenberg / Sir Lowry’s Conservancy is but one.

Abraham Suse

Abraham Suse started his wine career in 1999 on Welgemeend Wine Estate, a small wine cellar in Klapmuts. He worked as a cellar hand and as a Farm Supervisor. He went to Burgundy in France in 2001 for two months as an exchange student for training in Viticulture and Winemaking. He worked with Cordoba Wines untill he joined the Wedderwill Wines team  as Winemaker and Viticulturist in 2012. Wedderwill joined the Schrapenberg Sir Lowry's Pass Conservancy in 2015, where Abraham serves as a member on their Committee.

Garth Mortimer

Partner representative

Garth Mortimer is employed by CapeNature as the Senior Manager for Protected Area Expansion and Stewardship. The main focus of Garths work is to provide strategic leadership and operational guidance to ensure that CapeNature’s Stewardship Programme, Protected Area Expansion Strategy and Landscape Conservation Initiatives, including biodiversity corridors, World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves are effectively implemented and results in an adequate and representative protected area network being secured and effectively managed

Francis Steyn

Partner representative

Francis Steyn LandCare co-ordinator for the Western Cape obtained a master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of the Free State. He has been employed in the Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape for 41 years and has extensive experience in sustainable resource management. Specialist field he has worked in are irrigation, conservation agriculture, area wide planning and community based natural resource management. He is passionate about the sustainable management of our natural resources and the people that manage these resources.

Gareth Boothway

Partner Representative

Gareth started his conservation career in 1998, working at Vogelgat and Fernkloof Nature Reserve, in Hermanus. Over the last 20 years he has gained experience in protected area management. He has had the fortune to experience working in most of the biomes across South Africa, including the central Namib (Namib-Naukluft National Park). He has worked for the Overstrand Municipality, WESSA, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park - Buffalo Project) and the Gobabeb Research Station (a research station run via a collaborative between private investors and the Namibian Government). On returning to South Africa Gareth assisted in the establishment of the Midlands Conservancies Forum, an NPO that was formed to support 12 Conservancies located in the KZN Midlands, to learn and share their conservation interventions, successes and failures.  He was appointed as the Project Manager for this NPO after a successful fundraising exercise focusing on assisting members with the declaration and management of several privately owned protected areas. He joined WWF-SA in 2014, and now works mostly in the Succulent Karoo Biome , working with willing private landowners to expand the protected area footprint within the biome through various initiatives in partnership with provincial conservation authorities and fellow conservation NGO's.

Mike Fabricius

C@W Vice Chairperson

Mike Fabricius completed his BSc Zoology and Entomology at Rhodes University, after which he went on to graduate with his Btech Nature Conservation at the Saasveld Campus of NMMU. He is a Conservation Ecologist with the Grootbos Foundation presently, and he manages the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. His field of interest lies in the monitoring of wildlife using various methods, with a particular focus on predators. He is fascinated with all aspects of the ecosystems that he works in. Part of his portfolio with the Grootbos Foundation and the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy is to engage with private landowners, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, encourage environmentally friendly practices and the expansion of the conservation footprint in the Walker Bay region. Mike spends his free time in nature, he has a keen photographic eye, loves to hike and surf, and he is an awesome musician.

Alouise Lynch

Alouise is the co-founder of Bionerds - a biodiversity consultancy that works alongside landowners, NGO's and other organizations to assist them on the path of ecological understanding, to accept their ecological responsibility and to leave a healthier living landscape as their legacy. Bionerds identifies the most pressing conservation needs and assists with Biodiversity Surveys, Research Projects, Natural Resource Management and Skills Development for in-field professionals.  Alouise has a particular interest in arachnids, reptiles, orchids and succulents. She is one of the expert reviewers on the University of Cape Town Animal Demography Units ReptileMAP, ScorpionMAP, FrogMAP and OrchidMAP. In her spare time Alouise dabbles in social media and Graphic Design, and she travels all over South Africa with her family, looking for the small and elusive species that they have not seen yet - always eyes to the sky birding, torches in hand at night searching for the creepy crawlies or nose to the ground admiring the arachnid and botanicals underfoot.

Eugene Hahndiek

Eugene's love for nature started at an early age. He grew up in various Provincial Nature Reserves in the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces, which fueled his passion for our natural environment. Eugene holds a National Diploma in Game Ranch Management from the NMMU, and he has been working in the Game and Conservation Industry for the past 12 years. He is employed by the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area on the Agulhas Plains, where he holds the position of Conservation Manager in charge of Game and Veld aspect of the area.

News Articles



Conservation at Work held the 2017 Cape Fox Awards during the Symposium event on the evening of 13 November 2017 . The evening was celebrated at the Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre, On The Graham Beck Wine Estate, Robertson. We would like to thank our Funders for...