Since the beginning of time, trees have supplied us with the two essentials for life – food and oxygen. As we evolved, we found that they also could provide shelter, medicine, and tools. Today, we often forget their value – with many believing that trees only offer a ‘pretty view’.
It must be remembered that trees form part of the Grassland Biome and are vital to the earth in the sense that they are the lungs of the planet; converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and filtering the air of pollutants. Trees provide food and shelter for many species and stabilise and feed the soil with their leaves and fruit.
With the rapid development that has taken place in Gauteng, large areas of natural habitat have been destroyed in the name of business and housing, which is why the Crocodile River Reserve is so important as a measure to preserving our unique grassland biodiversity.
The Reserve supports a variety of habitats including grasslands, bushveld clumps and the Crocodile River which forms part of the Crocodile (West) Marico catchment. It has been identified as being important in that it provides large intact areas of natural habitat.
The Crocodile River Reserve is also home to geoxylic plants or “underground trees” which are trees that are almost entirely buried and can live for more than 10,000 years in the savannahs of southern Africa and South America.