The main aim of the John Rae Trust is to support the unique and privately-funded Buffelskloof Research and Education programmes which have been built up over the last 20 years using funds supplied by the late John Rae, a noted naturalist. These funds are no longer sufficient to ensure the programme’s continued maintenance and development.
The Buffelskloof Herbarium, curated by John Burrows, has over the last 20 years rendered considerable service to botanical and ecological science and education in South Africa. Its service to botany worldwide has been recognised by the signing of Memoranda of Cooperation with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden.
The Need for the Trust
It is vital to support conservation and biological research and education of students in Africa. Funding for such activities in southern Africa is becoming increasingly difficult to source but it remains imperative to inspire and educate Africans of all races in the value of their immensely valuable and unique heritage which can so easily be lost for ever. Well-educated and well-resourced local conservators and biologists will always be more relevant and effective than outsiders who often do not appreciate the local socio-economic environment in which conservation must co-exist.
This charitable Trust has been set up in the UK (charity number 1179803) to raise funds to ensure the continued existence and development of the Herbarium and its associated research and education. Its 6 trustees include a consultant engineer, a biophysicist, a doctor, a mathematician and a headteacher.