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Friends Groups & Affiliates

Benefits and principles of WESSA
Friends Groups and Affiliates
       WESSA Friends Groups and
Affiliates application form


Friends Groups and affiliated groups and organisations make a valuable contribution to the work we do in the areas of conservation and education as well as strengthening the environmental movement by networking and actively working in communities at a grass roots level.

About Friends Groups

The Friends Groups concept is a WESSA initiative started in the Western Cape in 1985, when the ‘Friends of Nature Areas’ project was established with the objective of involving the public in safeguarding natural resources and working with the owners or managing authorities towards this end. At first, the scheme focussed only on nature reserves but later became a widely used model applied to any area that needed protection and support, including historical heritage sites.

Friends Groups are volunteers who band together to conserve, rehabilitate or prevent inappropriate developments in natural or semi-natural areas or places of special interest. These areas can be large formalised nature areas or small informal pockets of terrestrial and/or aquatic environments in various states of conservation worthiness. Friends Groups embody WESSA's mission to promote public participation in caring for the earth by encouraging communities to become more involved with their local environment and take responsibility for its continued well-being. 

Why affiliate to WESSA?

WESSA has years of environmental experience and can help provide networking opportunities plus exposure through channels such as: newsletters; national publications; the WESSA website; Facebook pages and other social media channels. Affiliation allows an affiliated Friends Group or organisation to use WESSA’s name and logo on signboards, websites and other materials such as letterheads and brochures. This can help raise the profile and credentials of the group, which assists with fundraising efforts. A comprehensive Friends Groups Handbook is available to help in the setting up of new groups and provide guidance for existing ones.

Friends Groups receive regular newsflashes and newsletters from us and we keep them informed about events happening in their area. Individual Friends Group members are automatically considered to be WESSA supporters and can sign up with us to receive direct communications from us too. Friends Group members also qualify for a special reduced rate if they wish to become full WESSA Members.

A Friends Group Handbook is available to all affiliated Friends Group.


Friends Groups

Northern Areas Region
Crocriver Mountain Conservancy
De Wildt Helpmekaar Company
EcoGlen Association
Friends of Blouberg
Friends of Colbyn Valley
Friends of Doringkloof Spruit
Friends of Ezemvelo
Friends of Fowws
Friends of Frank Struben Bird Sanctuary
Friends of General Smuts Foundation
Friends of Glossaspruit
Friends of Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Friends of Kruinpark
Friends of Loskop
Friends of Mimosa Spruit
Friends of Moreletakloof
Friends of Moreletaspruit (Brookside Meander)
Friends of Moreleta Spruit (Serene Valley)
Friends of Nylsvley
Friends of Rietvlei
Friends of Struben Dam
Friends of Suikerbosrand
Friends of the Reeds Vleiland
Friends of the Skuilkrans Kopje
Friends of Verloren Valei
Friends of Waterkloof Ridge Nature Valley
Friends of Witbank Nature Reserve
Friends of Zita Park and Weavers Nest
Magalies Raptor Research Group
Residents Supporting Sustainable Development
Tzaneen Eco Club

Eastern Cape Region
Friends of Cape St Francis Nature Area (FOSTER)
Friends of Baviaanskloof (FOBWA)
Haga Haga Conservancy
Nathan's Earth (Friends of Woody Cape)

Northern Cape Region
Rooifontein Wildlife Club

Western Cape Region
Friends of Bain's Kloof
Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area (BCA)
Friends of Bracken Nature Reserve
Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelt
Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve
Friends of Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area
Friends of Kenwyn Nature Park
Friends of Lions Head
Friends of Meadowridge Common
Friends of Montagu Eco Club
Friends of Olifants Estuary Management Forum (OEMF)
Friends of Percy Fyfe
Friends of Rietvlei
Friends of Rondebosch Common
Friends of Silvermine Nature Area
Friends of Stellenbosch Mountain
Friends of the Cape of Good Hope
Friends of the Liesbeek
Friends of the Montague Nature Gardens
Friends of Tokai Park
Friends of Tygerberg Hills
Friends of Zeekovlei and Rondevlei
Friends of Jack Muller Park
Garden Route Botanical Garden Trust
H.O.P.E Friends Group
Kirstenhof Community Parks
Whale Coast Conservation

Briardene Youth Centre - NPC
Coastwatch KZN
Friends of Pigeon Valley
Friends of Virginia Bush
Habit @ Earth
Hilton College Natural History Society
Toti Conservancy


If you would like to know how to go about set up a new Friends Group in your area please contact:
Marion Mengell, WESSA Friends Group Advisor
Tel/Fax 012 667 2183
Cell 083 455 1736

Affiliation to WESSA of independent environmental groups or organisations

Independent, environment-based, non-profit organisations with the same or similar aims as those of Friends Groups may become affiliate members of WESSA, thus strengthening the conservation movement. Groups caring for monuments, sites of historical, archaeological or cultural importance, and other similar, community-based initiatives may also apply to become affiliate members.

Affiliation Membership fee 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017:  R525

This includes WESSA membership plus: use of the applicable affiliation logo; quarterly editions of African Wildlife & Environment magazine and EnviroKids magazine; newsflashes and WESSA newsletters. See also ‘Benefits & Basic Principles of becoming a WESSA Friends Group or Affiliate’.

Affiliate with us today!

If you would like to become an affiliated Friends Group or affiliated environmental group/organisation please contact:

WESSA Membership Office
Tel: 031 201 3126