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

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

Pippa Haarhoff

C@W Treasurer

Pippa Haarhoff was born and schooled in Zimbabwe. She graduated in Archaeology at UCT and joined the South African Museum (now Iziko Museums) in 1977 where she worked in the Cenozoic Palaeontology department on the fossil collection from Langebaanweg under the guidance of Dr Brett Hendey. She played a leading role in initiating the Fossil Park project in 1992 and moved up to run the Park, where she still lives, when it opened to the Public in 1998.


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.

Anita Wheeler

Cape Nature Partner Representative

Anita Wheeler has been with CapeNature for 23 years, and over the years occupied various positions, of which Biodiversity Stewardship was for more than 10 years. She obtained her Masters’ Degree in Botany at Rhodes University in 2014, during which she focussed on the factors that influences sustainable ecological ostrich farming in the Klein Karoo. Anita is currently appointed as the Acting Conservation Stewardship Specialist for Protected Area Expansion and Stewardship and mainly focusses on providing strategic leadership and operational guidance to CapeNature’s Stewardship Programme, Protected Area Expansion Strategy and Landscape Conservation Initiatives, including biodiversity corridors, World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves.

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.

Gill Gimberg

C@W Chairperson

Gill has worn many hats over the years, including those of industrial relations officer, horse riding teacher, sailor, legal assistant, freelance writer, editor and indexer and, most recently, subsistence farmer and conservationist. She and her husband live off-grid on a piece of mountain land in the Overberg which is part of the Klein Swartberg Conservancy. Most of the conservation efforts to date have revolved around alien clearing in order to rehabilitate and conserve the fynbos and endemic animal and plant species on this beautiful inselberg of the Cape Fold.

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.

Carina Becker

Conservation Manager

Growing up in arid Namibia I have a love of dryland conservation and working with people who farm in these environments. I volunteered and worked in various aspects of conservation in Namibia, from vulture conservation, the game capture unit to community based resource management. I obtained a B-tech in Nature conservation and a MSc from NMMU at Saasveld and am currently completing a PhD focussing on restoration of arid farmlands. I worked as a field guide in Namaqualand and Elandsberg Nature Reserve, as well as doing some environmental consulting work. In 2019 I took up the position as Conservation Manager at the Rooiberg Breederiver Conservancy in Robertson. I work with ~30 landowners to improve management of their natural veld and support WWF together with Cape Nature in their stewardship efforts in 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...