From a monoculture eucalyptus plantation to athrivingresilientbiodiversefunctionalregenerativesub-Afromontane forest
We are restoring
27.5 hectares of indigenous, sub-Afromontane Forest. What was once a monoculture eucalyptus plantation has transformed into a thriving habitat for a diversity of birds and mammals.
After 80 years of absence, the colobus monkeys, a flagship species, have finally returned to the forests. 180 bird species inhabit Brackenhurst’s forests, up from the 30 species documented in 2000 when Brackenhurst was still degraded agricultural land.
OUR UPPER & LOWER FORESTS
are home to 353 indigenous tree species, 47 indigenous shrub species, and 16 liana species, over 30 of which are rare and threatened. Brackenhurst’s forests have been under restoration for the last 22 years and are continuously monitored to provide key data to guide restoration work in similar ecosystems nationally and internationally.
Our Seed Bank & Nurseries
and nurseries are the safehouses where we protect and propagate rare, endangered, and indigenous tree species for restoration efforts across Kenya. Through our seed bank, community seed collection networks, and nurseries, we provide quality indigenous plant material to our hubs and partners.
We currently store
1.5 million seeds from 26 indigenous species in our seed bank. Our mid-term goal is to store more than 400 native tree species from highland and dryland ecosystems. In addition to storing seeds for the future, we prioritise sharing our knowledge and resources by improving the access and availability of seeds through networked collection, processing, and distribution throughout the region.
Our botanic garden
hosts more than 100 East African flower species. It serves as a paradise for essential pollinators like bees, butterflies, and small birds. Through garden-centred programming, we invite members of our community into the biodiversity conversation and encourage them to rethink common gardening practices. Our highland botanic garden became a member of Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI) in 2006 and received Level 3 accreditation from ArbNet in 2016.
Our highland nursery
has exploded with growth. Under the care of our dedicated nursery staff, our nursery grew from hosting 6 native species to 45 native tree species in only 7 months. We have adapted best practices from Plants for Life International, who began the restoration efforts at Brackenhurst 22 years ago. This thriving nursery supplies the plant matter we need for rewilding Brackenhurst and supporting local restoration champions in their reforestation efforts.
Our partners at ForestFoods are pioneering syntropic agroforestry in Kenya. Based at our Highland Hub, they naturally grow top-notch produce on farms that resemble nature through their coordinated, highly diverse integration of agricultural crops, forestry, fodder, and livestock. Their dense, biodiverse farms are at the forefront of an agricultural revolution to restore nutrient-dense soil, establish sustainable and local food sources, and provide transparent, traceable, and quality produce to the people. They offer premium quality produce delivery as well as commercial, academic, and family & friends farm tours. Forest Foods believes all farmers can participate in and profit from regenerative agroforestry, which is why they have developed a unique, adaptable model that farmers and landowners can scale to their small and medium-sized land to fit their needs.