Presentation at Fillos de Ois on August 9th

17 July 2012

Logo of S.R.C.D. Fillos de OisResponding to the invitation of the Cultural, Recreational and Sports Association Fillos de Ois, Fragas do Mandeo will be presenting a summary of its two first years of operation at the association centre located in Santa María de Ois (Coirós, a Coruña), on August 9th at 9 p.m.

This association is celebrating thirty years of work to dynamize the social life of the parish, having organized a variety of activities.

As on previous occasions, the talk shall be accompanied by the audiovisual presentation Northwest, a selection of excellent photographs of marine and aquatic birds made by Álvaro Fernández Polo and Antonio Ramos Souto of the Calidris Ornithological Association.

If you want to help us spread the word about the event, you can download the poster at PDF format (more suitable for printing) or at JPEG format (best to be e-mailed).

Charity market in Betanzos on August, 5th

16 July 2012

Before the start of the town’s annual festival, we will again be at the Do Campo Square holding our charity market on August 5th, from 9.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.

We hope not to have the same organizational complications that arose at the previous one due to our haulage volunteer being sick and to the sports event that took place on the square. Despite these hitches, and the fact that the good weather after weeks of rain encouraged people to go instead to the beach, it was a success thanks to the 11 volunteers who helped and the generosity of the donors of the items sold.

Donations received by Fragas do Mandeo are entirely aimed at the acquisition of plots of land with environmental value. Operating expenses (phone, Internet, stationery, bank fees, etc.) are covered by what we raise at the markets. This actually generates a healthy surplus, which also adds to the funds reserved to buy land.

At the markets we realized that we need to add another ‘R’ at the principle of the three Rs since we have noticed that some people do not mind buying items that are a bit damaged, because they already know how to fix them. Therefore, our motto is now «reduce, reuse, repair, recycle».

In addition to helping the environment, some Fragas do Mandeo volunteers have noticed other benefits. They are very pleased to see how children ‒or handicapped people‒ come to buy with their limited budgets and can always find something to make their faces light up because it is affordable for them. Some immigrants who’ve rented under-equipped apartments can find home appliances at a price that meets their needs. Grandparents who are looking for a story book to bring a smile to their grandchildren are giving a second life to children’s books. So, solidarity with the environment, but also with different sectors of our society.

Next charity market on July 15th

2 July 2012

Next Sunday we will set up again our charity market in Do Campo Square of Betanzos, between 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.

We normally hold these markets on the first Sunday of each month, on condition that it does not coincide with the regular market day. But in this case the charity market has had to be postponed to the following Sunday because of the Feira Franca (medieval tax-free market).

Presentation in Sada

20 June 2012

On June 28, at 8:00 p.m., we will be presenting a summary of the two first years of activity of Fragas do Mandeo in the town of Sada. It will be at the meeting room of the Municipal Youth Office (Pescadería Square, s/n; see map), kindly provided by the Municipal Council.

The conference will be preceded by the audio-visual presentation Noroeste (Northwest), a collection of superb photographs of aquatic birds by Álvaro Fernández Polo and Antonio Ramos Souto, members of Asociación Ornitolóxica Calidris.

With this lecture, we want to raise awareness among residents of this coastal town of land stewardship, its advantages for nature conservation and its use in other places. Obviously, we will also discuss the progress of Fragas do Mandeo in the application of this approach in As Mariñas, with the ultimate goal of preserving the region’s biodiversity, and will encourage attendees to support our project through donations or volunteering.

If you want to help us spread the word about the event, you can download the poster at PDF format (best for printing) or at JPEG format (best for e-mailing).

Storks breeding in Betanzos?

3 June 2012

Last May the exhibition Betanzos geográfico was open at the Liceo, organised by the Museo das Mariñas. This interesting exhibition of local cartography gave the public the opportunity to learn about some aspects of the town’s urban evolution.

Details of the map of Betanzos drawn in 1616A large size copy of the map drawn by Antonio Vázquez in 1616 stood out among the exhibited maps, on which the now disappeared Tower of Lanzós can be seen. We cannot help noticing that the author depicted a nest of storks on its roof, and behind it the schematic outline of a bird flying in the distance. Being commissioned by his Majesty, the author swore that he had done it well and faithfully, according to documents of the time, so we are inclined to believe that the inclusion of the storks is not due to artistic licence.

We don’t know whether four centuries ago storks nested in the As Mariñas area. Zoological information is very scattered in old documents and often collected in an indirect way. This is why zoologists require the collaboration of historians to move forward in the knowledge of the past of our fauna. Let us know if you can provide us with more accurate information.

Fourth Charity Market

29 May 2012

After holding the previous one in Sada, we return to Betanzos to set up the next charity market. It will be in the Do Campo Square, on June 3 between 10: 00 a.m. and 02: 30 p.m. We’ll bring the whole range of products donated by our contributors.

We invite you to come and bring all those items that you don’t need any more, to help us to set up the stall or with the sales, and to see if there is some bargain that you’d be interested in buying.

The rural realm we want

8 May 2012

Image of the schedule for the First Conference on The Rural Environment we WantTitled The Rural Environment we Want. Experiences of and proposals for stewardship and enhancement, and subtitled Associations, companies and residents for raising the profile of the rural world, the Community of Joint Owners of Woods in Salgueiral (Bora, Pontevedra) is going to hold a conference that allows a multitude of interested parties to meet, talk and share experiences.

Fragas do Mandeo has been invited to present its experiences, introducing attendees to the actual use of land stewardship both as a tool to preserve local biodiversity and to help boost the rural world.

We will be accompanied by representatives of Hifas da Terra, Ancares de Meu, Amigos da Terra, Pontevedra Council and Residents’ Association of O Salgueiral. The organization is held by Anias Xestión Sociocultural and is supported by the Pontevedra Council.

This “Seminar on the Almofrei” is part of the environmental education activities about the River Almofrei and surrounding area, being carried out by the Community of Joint Owners of Woods in Salgueiral (Bora, Pontevedra).

Location: Casa de Cultura do Salgueiral in Bora (Pontevedra).
Date: June 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

You can find additional information by downloading the schedule or the poster.

Charity market in Sada in May 17th

7 May 2012

In May 17th, Galician Arts Day, we will hold another charity market. But this time it will be in Sada as we have been invited by the “First Solidarity Market” group. Join us at Irmáns Suárez Picallo Square, from 12 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As befits the occasion, we are going to put on sale a selection of books in Galician, as well as an assortment of other popular items.

The event aims to promote the sale of second-hand goods and the exchange of objects that are no longer being used and that could be useful to other people. Entrance is free and stalls are available for individuals and not-for-profit associations, subject to prior registration. There will be live music and a traditional meal.

The organization encourages participants to donate to non-profit associations those articles which they were not able to sell. Therefore, Fragas do Mandeo will ask participants to be the recipient of these donations, because there are still several charity markets scheduled for this year and we need new articles.

This second-hand market is organized by the associations Reciclín Reciclán, Anam Cara and AUIC, with the assistance of Sada Council, Infusiones Musicales, Rayces and Paris Joel.

More information can be found on the website of the organization.

Successful 4th charity market

8 April 2012

Photograph of the IV charity market of Fragas do MandeoToday we held the first charity market of this year, which is the fourth ever. As always, we met at the Do Campo Square in Betanzos early in the morning to put on sale a great variety of items (books, clothing accessories, gifts, household articles, toys, etc.), all of them donated by our supporters.

It was a great success; we had our best sales ever. It certainly helped that, after several days of drizzle, the sun came out, encouraging people to go out onto the streets. Thanks also to the dedication of the eleven Fragas do Mandeo volunteers, nine in charge of the stall and two more helping with transport, loading and unloading, who were working until three in the afternoon.

We thank Betanzos Council for letting us hold the market and for lending us the stall tables. The proceeds will go towards the acquisition of scenic and environmentally interesting land in the area.

Daffodils blossom

11 March 2012

On these late winter days, from early February to mid-March, when deciduous trees have not yet come into leaf, we can already see some unmistakable beautiful flowers on the riverbanks: daffodils.

Photograph of Narcissus asturiensisAlso known by their Galician name amarelles, they are part of the Narcissus genus and the family Amaryllidaceae. They have a predominantly Iberian distribution and present many endemisms. There are five species in Galicia, easily distinguishable by their appearance.

Which of these five daffodils can be seen in As Mariñas? Volunteers from Fragas do Mandeo have been scouring our large fluvial network trying to locate them, since three of them are listed as vulnerable species and their distribution throughout the region is not well known.

Photograph of Narcissus cyclamineusNarcissus cyclamineus is unmistakable. Its tepals (this is the name given by botanists to their petals, because they do not differentiate from sepals) have a bright yellow colour and they turn backwards, separating from the corona (the characteristic daffodil trumpet, tube-shaped in this case). Although we could find it in very few places, it was not scarce at those specific locations. It is endemic in the North of Portugal and Galicia, with a poorly known distribution.

In contrast, Narcissus asturiensis, is more often found although following the same pattern of being abundant in the locations where it is present —to the point that they could be detected from a distance— but being absent from long stretches of river with apparently optimal habitat. Though small in size like the N. cyclamineus, its appearance is typical of the Narcissi.

Photograph of Narcissus bulbocodiumA third daffodil we are looking for, Narcissus bulbocodium, is really peculiar. It stands out for its disproportionate crown, which earned it the Spanish common name of “trumpet of Medusa” (in English, hoop petticoat daffodil). It can also be found on riverbanks, together withN. cyclamineus and N. asturiensis, being more flexible in its choice of habitat; in fact, we can find it in meadows and oak woods away from watercourses.

A later bloom was that of the Narcissus triandrus. It is not uncommon, since we have even seen it in roadside ditches, but it is not as easy to find as the previous ones, because it has a much more discreet, pale colour that easily blends with the surrounding vegetation. It is an endemic species of the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula.

Photograph of Narcissus triandrusWe did not find the last of the Galician daffodils, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, but we cannot rule out its presence, since it blossoms later on (from March to May). It is the biggest of the five, with their typical shape, in which the tepals usually have a softer tone than the corona. In Galicia the subspecies nobilis and moschatushave been reported.

Galician daffodils are protected by various local, state and European regulations. In the Galician Catalogue of Endangered Species N. cyclamineus and N. asturiensis are classified as vulnerable, as well as the subspecies nobilis of N. pseudonarcissus. The three of them are mentioned in Annex II of the Directive Habitats, N. triandrus being reported in the Annex IV and N. bulbocodium in Annex V.

The Narcissus genus is in a phase of speciation, that process of evolution that leads to the formation of new species by differentiation of their populations. For this reason, although we have said that they are easily identified by their appearance, for taxonomists (specialists in the classification of living beings) it is a complex genus still under discussion with regards to the definition of the various species. This is another reason to worry for its conservation in the As Mariñas area.

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