SPGA Commemorates Earth Day 2022 with Tree Planting and Nature Trail Awareness Activity

SPGA Commemorates Earth Day 2022 with Tree Planting and Nature Trail Awareness Activity

On Friday 22nd April, the world celebrated Earth Day. This day is dedicated to celebrating the planet as we know it and further provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how we can all play a part in ensuring that the planet’s resources are being preserved and sustainably used. This year’s theme was “Invest in Our Planet”. As a nod to the theme, SPGA partnered with the National History Museum for a tree planting and awareness activity along the re-known Trois Freres trail.

The activity brought together 25 school children from the central region, coming from the schools of Plaisance, Perseverance, English River, Bel Eau and Mont Fleuri, accompanied by their teachers and several SPGA staff. The aim of the activity was to educate these students on the importance of conserving our natural environment especially the protected areas which are found in the National Parks such as Morne Seychellois and Praslin National Park. Trois Freres nature trail is located in the Morne Seychellois National Park, which is also home to an extensive network of nature trails well known amongst locals and tourists alike. The Morne Seychellois National Park covers an area of approximately 3,045 hectares, more than 20% of Mahe and is made up of a mixture of mangroves, lush tropical jungles and tall mountains. It is 10km in length and between 2km and 4km wide.

It is home to a vast amount of indigenous flora and fauna, twelve endemic land birds of the granitic, seven of which are to be found on Mahe. These include the Seychelles Scops-owl, one of the most elusive species of all. The Seychelles Kestrel, Blue Pigeon and Sunbird are common sights in the park, which makes it perfect for bird lovers.  You will always be able to spot the endemic Bulbul, the Pitcher plant and have interesting encounters with the Seychelles wolf snake.

Group Photo

For the special day, endemic plants such as Ixora, Bwa Dir, Bilimbi maron and Zakobe were planted by those present. These plants are selected as they adapt well to the environment in which they are planted, especially as these areas along the trail are cleared-of invasive species and creepers. Whilst the plants will not only add to the biodiversity of the area, they also are crucial in keeping the soil in tact from further disruption. It is for such reason that, trail users are advised to avoid using the trail in large groups. A maximum of 15 people per group is recommended, as to cause minimal impact to the soil, vegetation and animals which have found their homes along the trail.

SPGA National Park staff further reiterated to the students and teachers in attendance of how important it is to be aware of the proper etiquettes and behavior which should be practiced whilst using the various nature trails. Trail goers are expected to make proper use of the different infrastructures which have been added to the trails such as shelters, benches and information boards and steps which have all been put in place to ensure that all visitors can experience the beauty and biodiversity of the Seychelles to the fullest. It is only through careful management and conservation of such protected areas that the nature will thrive and be available for upcoming generations.

One of the many hurdles faced by SPGA park officers is the alarming amount of litter which trail goers leave behind. SPGA urges all those who visit the trails to ensure that no litter is left after their journey. On many occasions, especially after the festivities of Good Friday and Easter, many locals rushed to the trails as a form of pilgrimage, resulting in trampling of some vegetation and increased littering along the trails like Trois Freres.

SPGA currently manages 9 official trails located within the National Parks. Trails include Trois Freres, Morne Blanc, Anse Major, Copolia, Mare Aux Cochons, Dans Gallas, Salazie(Fairview), and Mont D’Or. The Morne Seychellois trail and the Glacis Noire Trail located on Praslin are currently undergoing maintenance for their official opening in late 2022.

Tree planting

One of the most famous trail used by hikers is the Anse Major trail located at Bel Ombre. The trail offers outstanding views of the northwestern coast with a panorama of Silhouette Island, North Island, L’Ilot, Glacis and Mont Poulalier. Currently, maintenance works are being undertaken on the trail to ensure it meets the SPGA standards, ensuring the safety and security of all hikers. New information boards have been erected to replace those which had been damaged, the small bridges have been replaced and more work to enhance visitor experiences to the area will be undertaken before the trail is officially opened later this year.

SPGA hopes that the students have appreciated the valuable information they have gained from the activity and that they will in turn share this with their friends and family.