Charity market under the rain

7 September 2014

Photograph of the charity market under the rainToday we had to cancel the charity market in the face of force majeure.

Weather forecasts failed. We had been consulting them until the last minute, and there was no threat of rain during the morning, except for some brief drizzle. Therefore, our volunteers decided to set up the stall. Just when they were finishing, it did start to rain. But it wasn’t just drizzling and it didn´t stop in four hours: the storms scheduled for the afternoon had come early in the morning!

Fortunately, some plastic sheets and the borrowed canopy prevented all books and other items from being seriously damaged. All we had to show for our efforts were 5 euros profit, sodden cardboard packaging and soaked feet.

This year we only obtained a small amount of money with charity markets. Although they help us to pay running costs, to settle the Notary´s bills and something towards the purchase of plots of land, we cannot depend on them to move forward in the stewardship of our natural habitats, because we would advance at a snail´s pace. It is our supporters’ modest donations that keep this project progressing well.

Why not join them? Any donation would be welcome, no matter how small it may seem. In section Join us! you may find the necessary information for a payment, either one-off or regular.

Martha´s lesson

1 September 2014

Today is the anniversary of Martha´s disappearance. This pigeon died in Cincinnati zoo (USA) a hundred years ago. Who cares?

Image of the passenger pigeonMartha was the last existing passenger pigeon on the planet. With her disappeared a species that was the most abundant bird in North America, and probably in the world! The flocks formed during migrations were incredibly large, even hiding the sun for three days in some towns. It is estimated that its population was between 3 and 5 billion birds. But the settlers destroyed their habitat and hunted it so massively to commercialize their meat, that they were exterminated in the wild in just four decades.

This long tailed and winged pigeon was very different from others both in aspect and behaviour. Scientists called her Ectopistes migratorius, since it wandered forming migratory flocks in search of deciduous woods in which to feed, mainly on acorns, chestnuts and beechnuts. Taking into account that it was the only member of the genus Ectopistes, the biodiversity loss is even worse.

The passenger pigeon symbolizes how greed and indifference can finish with a species within a short period of time, no matter how abundant it is. Remembering Martha is an invitation to reflect on putting limits to human greed and to raise awareness of the loss of the planet’s biodiversity.

Its memory reaffirms Fragas do Mandeo commitment to the conservation of our region´s natural heritage, thinking globally and acting locally. On a day like today, we encourage you to take a step forward with us on behalf of nature.

Charity market on September 7th

31 August 2014

Next Sunday, the 7th of September, we will be holding the fourth charity market of this year, in the Do Campo Square of Betanzos, where we will be from 10.00 a.m. Depending on how sales are doing we can pack up at 2.00 p.m. or stay the whole afternoon. The heavy work is setting and packing up the stall. Therefore, it’s worth staying the whole afternoon if turnout is high and volunteers are willing to give up the whole holiday.

Please join them in providing Fragas do Mandeo with resources to acquire plots of environmental value by donating items for our charity markets. In section Contact you can find the necessary information.

Acquisition of a meadow

28 August 2014

Today we signed the purchase deed of a land plot of 4,460 m2 at the offices of the Notary Mr. Óscar López Doval in Betanzos. It was worth the purchase, since we can now protect 200 m of river bank in the Oza-Cesuras Municipality.

Unlike previous acquisitions, in this case it is a meadow bordered by riparian forest made up of alders, ash trees and willows. The combination of grove and meadow on the river bank creates a heterogeneity of habitats which gives great environmental value.

We are grateful to those people who are supporting Fragas do Mandeo and who contributed the funds needed, thus allowing us to further nature conservation of the area. Wouldn´t you like to join them with a small donation? You can find additional information in section Join us or else you can consult us directly (in section Contact you can find the necessary information).

Appointment on the 24th to eliminate crocosmia

16 August 2014

On August 24th we will be at Chelo (Coirós) to carry on with the crocosmia elimination campaign in the proximity of the River Mandeo.

Photograph of a hand cultivatorWe need everyone’s help to eliminate this invasive exotic species in the protected natural area Betanzos-Mandeo. The more we are, the sooner we will do away with it. We encourage you to participate: the work is easy and can be done both by children and adults.

We will meet in front of the outpatient clinic in Betanzos at 9.30 a.m. to share vehicles and to start work at the recreational area of Chelo at 10.00 a.m. We will finish in time to go back home for lunch.

The tools needed are very simple: a small hand cultivator to uproot the bulbs and pruning shears to separate them from the stems. Since we have few tools, try to bring them from home or borrow them.

Should you need additional information, please let us know (in section Contact you will find the necessary information).

100 kg less of crocosmia

8 August 2014

Today the last group of volunteers from the Volunteering Office of the Xunta de Galicia worked at Chelo (Coirós); they came to collaborate with Fragas do Mandeo in the elimination of crocosmia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora), an invasive exotic plant that is colonizing the banks of the River Mandeo.

Photograph of Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora bulbs The twenty-two people who participated in this campaign totaled up 52 hours of work, gathering 103 kilos of bulbs. When crocosmia is uprooted, you should be careful to separate the bulbs, as they have to be destroyed to prevent their spreading. On the contrary, flowers and leaves are harmless and can be reused to make compost or manure.

The volunteers came from different places in Galicia, from Vigo to Cambre. In addition to thanking them for their work, we explained to them the environmental value of the protected natural area Betanzos-Mandeo, the problems caused by exotic invasive species and the role played by land stewardship as a means of preserving local habitats and biodiversity.

But there is still some work left, since crocosmia occupies a large area and the manual uprooting takes time. We expect to call a volunteering day soon to go on with this work, since the more the total elimination is delayed, the worse it will be.

Charity market on August 3rd

23 July 2014

On Sunday, the 3rd of August, we will be holding our next charity market. It will be in the Do Campo Square of Betanzos, as always, and we will be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Perhaps we will also be there in the afternoon.

Last time our volunteers decided to stay on longer, taking care of the stall continually until 9 p.m.: Sales were going well and it was an opportunity to compensate for the two charity markets that had to be cancelled this year. If the public turnout justifies it, and volunteers feel encouraged to do it, we will extend the market timetable until sunset.

Let’s remember that all this effort is done for charity markets to remain being one of the main sources of revenue used by Fragas do Mandeo to buy land plots of environmental value. Please contact us if you would like to donate items for our charity markets. You will give them a new lease of life and you will help nature conservation in this area. In section Contact you will find the necessary information.

Uprooting flowers in Chelo

10 July 2014

Photograph of Crocosmia x crocosmiifloraToday several people came to Chelo and began to uproot flowers. They were not vandals, but the first group of volunteers of the Volunteering Office of the Xunta de Galicia (Galician autonomous government) which collaborates with Fragas do Mandeo to eradicate one invasive alien species: the crocosmia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora).

Four groups of volunteers will be coming during July and August, duly authorized and accompanied by camp leaders. Their objective is to uproot these flowers without leaving any bulb in the ground. Although they look harmless and are used in gardening because they grow well, they are an environmental problem if they spread to natural areas. Originating from the crossing of two South African species, the plant is common in Galician coastal areas, finding in cool and damp places ―such as river banks― an excellent habitat in which to propagate, thus displacing the native vegetation. In Chelo (Coirós) it was planted as an ornamental bush in the parking lot, and has already colonized the mill channel and now there is the risk that it might continue advancing along the River Mandeo bank.

You should never throw the remains of exotic plants in the woods or free any pet, because you could create severe environmental problems that affect the native species.

Presentation in A Coruña with Wood Feelings

7 July 2014

Fragas do Mandeo was invited once again to present its work in A Coruña, this time hosted by the Company Wood Feelings. In contrast to the mere 6 minutes and 40 seconds talk we had at the PechaKucha Night, as befits this event’s singular format, next Friday the talk can last as long as necessary and the audience can ask as many questions as they wish.

Image of Wood FeelingsWood Feelings is a small company that designs and produces high quality, handcrafted furniture manufactured in solid wood treated with ecological products. Based in Cambre, this new business initiative will be presented this week at the Hangar de Test. As part of their social commitment, they are going to do all they can to support the land stewardship work of Fragas do Mandeo. We are therefore doubly grateful for inviting us to participate in their launch event and for helping with the conservation of our region’s nature.

We wish them success in their venture.

Place: Hangar de Test, calle Barcelona 58 (A Coruña).
Date: July 11th, at 7.30 p.m.

Additional information can be found on the Facebook profile of Facebook of Wood Feelings.

July charity market

5 July 2014

Tomorrow, Sunday the 6th, we will be once more setting up a stall in Betanzos. The weather forecast predicts mild rain early in the morning only. Therefore, we hope that from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. we can put on sale in the Do Campo square the wide range of items donated by the supporters of Fragas do Mandeo, thus helping us to raise funds aimed for buying land plots of environmental interest.

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