About us

The Rhodes Restoration Research Group (RRRG), established in 2007, is based in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. We are currently hosted by the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University. We are focused on research, wise understanding, appreciation, and praxis — all supporting sustainable use, conservation, and restoration — of the remarkable Subtropical (also called Albany) Thicket Biome in its many varieties and forms. This biome provides many vital ecosystem services (including retention of soil and river embankments, carbon sequestration, and many benefits arising from its rich biodiversity) but is under threat of perilous transformation. We seek to understand this biome and to assist in facilitating its balanced custodianship and use, for the ongoing benefit of all residents, farmers, industries, and other stakeholders. We collaborate with multiple groups, building individual and networked capacity towards these goals. Our objectives follow those agreed on for the biome as a whole, an iterative and increasingly inclusive process. We hope that our contribution bolsters inter-generational equity in the form of intact landscapes that can provide for long-term social, financial, and ecological sustainability.
The Team
Research & Praxis


The Rhodes Restoration Research Group (RRRG) is actively involved in a number of projects which involve doing research, providing information, and supporting the restoration economy. Our efforts include assisting in planning, site selection, mapping services, evaluation of carbon and biodiversity baselines, and conducting assorted applied research (e.g., germination ecology, ecophysiology, growth rates, drought tolerance). Some of our recent projects involve:
We historically also played a foundational role in the Tsitsa Project, which in turn had a profound effect on our own way of working:


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Recent News and Events

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Thicket Festival 2022

The first-ever Thicket Festival took place in Bathurst during the Heritage weekend (September 24–25) of 2022. The festival sought to celebrate the local indigenous Subtropical Thicket vegetation and to share just how unique and special it is. At the heart of the festival was a series of informative talks, focussed on what thicket is and why it is special. Other festival activities included a lantern parade through Bathurst on Saturday evening, a guided walk through the thicket on Bathurst Commonage, and informative stalls at the Bathurst farmers' market.
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Thicket Festival Venue