Join WESSA today and help make a significant, ongoing difference to the environment in which we all live.



Help us work for the continued conservation of our natural heritage and for a sustainable lifestyle on a healthy planet.



Help WESSA to curb illegal rhino poaching by making a donation to the WESSA Rhino Initiative today.


Friends Groups & Affiliates

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


Care for the Earth in your community

For 90 years WESSA has played a key role in the conservation of our country, helping to ensure sustainability for present and future generations through: environmental action; education programmes; and human capacity development to empower individuals and communities to make sustainable choices. Friends Groups and affiliate members make a valuable contribution to the work WESSA does 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

Friends Groups encourage communities to become more involved with their local environment and take responsibility for its continued well-being.  The Friends Groups concept is a WESSA initiative which began in the Western Cape in the early 1980s. In 1985, 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.

Who are WESSA Friends?

Friends Groups affiliated to WESSA encourage public participation in caring for the Earth. They 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.

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 e-mail newsflashes providing environmental updates and notification of events and activities. Individual Friends Group members are automatically considered to be WESSA supporters and can sign up with WESSA to personally receive free newsflashes about events and activities. They also qualify for a special reduced rate should they wish to become full WESSA Members.


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 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.

Affiliate Membership rates 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017

The fee per annum is R 525.00. This includes WESSA membership plus: use of the WESSA Affiliate Member Logo; quarterly editions of Environment: People & Conservation in Africa and EnviroKids magazines; e-communications and quarterly National Newsletters. See also ‘Benefits & Basic Principles of becoming a WESSA Friends Group or Affiliate’.

Additional information and resources

Contact the WESSA Membership Office for the foolowing documents:

  • Benefits & Basic Principles of becoming a WESSA Friends Group or Affiliate
  • The WESSA Friends Group Handbook


Affiliate with us today!

If you would like to apply to become a WESSA-affiliated Friends Group or WESSA-affiliated independent environmental group/organisation member please contact:

WESSA Membership Office
Tel: 031 201 3126