Environmental Management Committee (EMC)

Brackenridge’s current Environmental Management Committee was established by the Board of Trustees in November 2023. Its current members (as of April 2024) are:

  • Dr. Deborah Constant of 1 Erica Heath
  • Mr. Steve Harcourt-Cooke of 8 Orchid Valley
  • Dr. Chris Meister of 50 Protea Dale (Chair)
  • Mr. Boet Grobler, Brackenridge General Manager – ex officio member
  • Mr. Adrian Smith, Trustee – ex officio member
  • as of 1 May 2024: Kellyn Whitehead MSc – ECO (Environmental Control Officer)

The EMC is constituted and operates in accordance with regulations laid down in the Brackenridge Estate EMC Rules of Procedure.

Dr. Deborah Constant is a UCT Public Health academic now living permanently in Brackenridge. Deborah has a keen interest in the Estate fauna, indigenous flora, and our local and migrant birds.

Top of Deborah’s list is walking the paths and ensuring they are in the best possible condition for all to enjoy, eliminating alien growth and recording floral delights. As a founder member of the Brackenridge Environmental Management Committee, she brings passion, dedication, and academic rigor to the task.

Boet Grobler is the General Manager of Brackenridge Estate and has been in the industry for over 20 years. Boet loves spending time outdoors and enjoy long walks on the beach and cycling the many beautiful tracks and routes around Plettenberg Bay. The Community Management Environment can be challenging at times, but he loves the challenges, the environment, the daily changes, and the fact than one must be able to adapt to different situations at a moment’s notice. Serving a community such as Brackenridge that has so much passion for the Environment and Fauna and Flora is special and to see happy people enjoying the place they call home is a privilege.

Steve Harcourt-Cooke is a semi-retired businessman and sporting and outdoor enthusiast, having relocated from Midrand to Orchid Valley a year ago.

Steve and his wife Bon are avid gardeners having previously developed a stunning indigenous paradise on 1.7ha, and were immediately attracted to living in a large eco- estate where they can walk the trails daily. Steve is passionate about preserving the environment and all things flora and fauna and committed to enhancing our environment in Brackenridge.

Dr. Chris Meister is a retired Professor of Digital Humanities and German Literature. He loves the outdoors and is an active hiker and climber (and a somewhat lazy, but stubbornly non-electrified mountain biker…)

Formerly residents of Knysna, Chris and his wife Angela moved to Brackenridge in 2019. For the two of them Brackenridge’s Fynbos environment and the spacious lay-out made for love at first sight. Chris feels that this unique asset is something that we are truly blessed with – and therefore a beautiful gift that we should not simply take for granted, but actively look after, both on our private properties, and in the commonly owned unbuilt area. 

Adrian Smith is a semi-retired businessman and keen sporting and outdoor enthusiast. He along with his wife Anna relocated from Pretoria to Brackenridge in April 2021 having been attracted to the Estate principally by the large open spaces, the natural fauna and abundant birdlife.

Adrian is nothing more than an amateur enthusiast but has recognised that the estate has attracted many likeminded people and represents a significant value to the resident community. He believes that this value needs to be protected and enhanced, objectives of the very active Environment Management committee.

Kellyn Whitehead, MSc joined us on 1 May 2024 as Brackenridge’s Environmental Control Officer. Kellyn is a Fynbos expert and this is how she describes her motivation and vision:

“My name is Kellyn and from a young age I found a love for anything involving nature, whether it was birds, bugs, animals or plants. I received my BSc Honours degree in behavioural ecology at Stellenbosch University. As my love for birds and the fynbos grew, I went on to get my MSc in pollination ecology. I have worked in the conservation field for the past 10 years with a main focus on fynbos and love sharing my knowledge with the public and anyone else who is willing to listen to me get excited about what I love. I look forward to joining the Brackenridge team and working with the Environmental Management Committee in maintaining the natural beauty of the estate.”