The Founding Members of the Robberg Coastal Corridor Landowners Association now the Robberg Coastal Corridor Protected Environment:

  • SanParks
  • Cape Nature
  • The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative
  • The Bitou Community Foundation Trust 
  • Watch Hill Foundation

Committee Members

  • Morkel Pienaar (Chairman)

  • Andrew Hill (Treasurer)
  • Chris von Christierson
  • Lady Conyngham

  • Rhian Berning

  • Eve Joubert

Founding Members 

The Founding Members of the Robberg Coastal Corridor Landowners Association (now the Robberg Coastal Corridor Protected Environment) 

  • The Late Dr “Robbie” Robinson (formerly CEO of SANParks, Founder of the Otter Trail)  – Loerie Vlei 
  • Chris von Christierson  (founding Chairperson) – Fynbos Nature Reserve 
  • Andrew Hill   (current Tresurer) –  Cairnbrogie 
  • The Leggat family – Gilead 
  • Garden Route District Municipality (GDRM)– Stilbaai

Members of the RCCPE  

  • Morkel Pienaar Loerie Vlei 
  • Chris von Christierson  (founding Chairperson) – Fynbos Nature Reserve 
  • Andrew Hill   (current Tresurer) –  Cairnbrogie 
  • The Leggat Family
  • The GRDM


  • Sarah Kvalsvig – Environmental  Lawyer, Cullinan Associates Inc. 
  • Dr Frank Raimondo  – Peace Parks Foundation Director and a Founder of the Wilderness Leadership School 
  • Professor Judith Sealy – Archaeology and Paleo Environmental Studies at the University of Cape Town 

Kei Heyns

Senior Conservation Manager

In 2018, the attention of the RCCPE Committee was drawn to an article about Kei Heyns and his achievements as Senior Conservation Ranger at the Gourits-East Coastal Corridor, the  Fransmanshoek Conservancy.  Kei had just won The Cape Fox Best Managed Conservancy Award, a tremendous achievement ; he was subsequently elected onto the Executive Council of Conservation at Work, an umbrella organisation for all the Conservancies in the Western Cape.

It was obvious that Kei had the knowledge, motivation, passion and skills to become both the Senior Ranger of the Robberg Coastal Corridor Protected  Environment and to set up and run the Wildside Hiking Trail. Most fortunately for Plettenberg Bay, a sixth-generation Plettenbergian, he accepted the challenge and returned home to commence a highly demanding position.

After sailing from Trinidad to Croatia as a crew member on a 39′ Dudley Dix monohull, Kei studied Nature Conservation at Nelson Mandela University. He won the top student of the year award in 2011, an award he won annually together with the Fairfield Award for two years, with distinctions in all subjects and  B Tech cum laude for both his Diploma and 4th Year Studies. He turned down the offer of fully sponsored tuition for his Masters’s degree for the opportunity of a job at the Fransmanshoek Conservancy.

Kei brings a wealth of experience to his position which is not just a job but a deep-seated passion and philosophy and connection with nature.  Conservation is a personal endeavour and he is a firm believer in “Socio-ecological systems thinking” – landscape and human interaction; every system has resilience and forward planning can assist in handling shocking events such as we have witnessed over the past few years.

Both by character and education, Kei is eminently fitted for the challenging position of Senior Conservation Ranger of the Robberg Coastal Corridor Protected Environment and the myriad challenges it raises.

Honours and Awards

  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Merit Award for Academic Excellence – 2012 2013 and 2014
  • Special Award for top 3rd Nature Conservation Student – 2013
  • Fairfield Tours Nature Conservation Award – 2012
  • NSFAS Bursary Award – 2012
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Special Award for the top  First Year Nature Conservation Student – 2011

South African National Parks is the body responsible for managing South Africa’s national parks. SANParks was formed in 1926, and currently manages 19 parks consisting of 3,751,113 hectares, over 3% of the total area of South Africa. Many parks offer a variety of accommodations. 

CapeNature is responsible for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape. It works to establish a successful conservation economy for all through the promotion of nature conservation, income generation, research and training.

The Eden to Addo vision is to link three mega-reserves, the Garden Route National Park, The Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and the Addo Elephant National Park by means of natural corridors to protect and restore the integrity of bio-diversity and eco-system functioning. 

Established as a registered UK Charity (1172847) in April 2017 to engage with South Africans in the United Kingdom committed to responding to the need for healthcare, community development and environmental conservation thus uplifting impoverished communities and protecting the unique natural biodiversity in the Bitou region of the Western Cape. Read more