Delheim Leads Conservation Efforts with IAP Volunteer Group

Published May 23, 2024

Delheim Wines, situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains in Stellenbosch, South Africa, is spearheading biodiversity conservation with its dedicated invasive alien plant (IAP) control management plan. Collaborating with the Delheim Hackers, a volunteer group established in August 2020, Delheim is actively working to protect its unique biodiversity and water resources from the threats posed by invasive alien species.

The estate’s rich ecosystem includes endangered Boland Granite Fynbos and over 125 indigenous plant species, along with endemic wildlife such as the Cape Sugarbird. However, invasive alien plants like Black Wattle and Eucalyptus threaten this biodiversity by consuming significant water resources, increasing wildfire risks, and outcompeting indigenous species.

Delheim’s conservation efforts focus on regular clearing of these invasive species and restoring natural habitats, such as converting areas previously occupied by pine trees back to fynbos. This work has shown positive results, including improved soil health and the return of indigenous vegetation.

The Delheim Hackers meet every second Saturday for hands-on removal of invasive plants, contributing significantly to ecosystem restoration. Nora Thiel, co-owner of Delheim Wines, emphasises the impact of their collaborative efforts in maintaining the natural state of their landscapes and invites anyone interested in environmental conservation to join the Delheim Hackers (coffee and muffin included!). For more information or to join the group, contact

Impact of Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs)
Invasive alien plants have a profound impact on the environment, the economy and even human well-being. These plants multiply quickly and spread rapidly because they have no natural controls, outcompeting indigenous species, disrupting natural balances and disturbing ecosystems. They consume significant amounts of water and contribute to water scarcity by invading riverbanks, blocking water channels and reducing stream flow, so less water reaches the dams. Their presence increases wildfire risks and result in hotter and more intense fires. These plants – including Black Wattle, Golden Wattle, Eucalyptus and Pine trees – drive biodiversity decline and pose dangers to lives, livelihoods and the environment.


WWF, A practical Guide to Managing Invasive Alien Plants, 2016.

You may also like