Double surface, double responsibility

5 May 2015

Photograph of the property deedToday we have signed an agreement with the Coirós Council to manage for 50 years the conservation of 92,239 m2 of municipally-owned forest in the surroundings of A Espenuca hill. Thus, we are going to double the surface in which we are currently doing land stewardship.

One third of this surface is comprised of land plots on the river banks. The large variety of trees growing by the water forms a riparian forest considered a priority habitat. As we move away from the river and up the slope, oaks become prevalent, forming a forest called Galician-Portuguese oakwood. Given the good state of conservation of those deciduous woods, management will focus on surveillance to prevent eucalyptus sprouting spontaneously or other exotic species to grow there.

Photograph of the deciduous woodBy contrast, the rest of the surface is covered by eucalyptus woods on the top of the hill, near the chapel. Given their location, the landscape impact is added to a poor ecological state. The aim here is clear: to eradicate the eucalyptus and the Blackwood acacia to reforest with native trees subsequently. As years go by, we will get some deciduous woods not different from those in other plots, improving in this way the landscape environment of the chapel and the viewpoint for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike. But above all, we will achieve a greater extension of the natural habitats in which many of the endangered species of our area thrive.

Apart from its potential for ecological restoration, these plots currently hold additional values. There are some superb rocky formations in one of them. When eucalyptus are removed, the granitic domes will display all their beauty. In other plot there are remains of buildings that will require an archaeological examination to determine their value and to delimit those areas where especial care is needed when felling and reforesting.

Although the planting will be made by volunteers, we will have to hire professionals for the felling of eucalyptus and for soil preparation. Since we want to guarantee that absolutely all of our supporters’ donations are earmarked for purchasing land with environmental value, we are looking for new funding sources to cover these expenses.

Photograph of the agreementThis agreement on land stewardship is the second of its kind signed by a Galician entity with the Administration; thus, Coirós Council showed their willingness to use this new method to preserve the Municipality’s biodiversity. The cooperation between different public entities and stewardship organizations has a great potential to preserve natural areas. For this reason, after these modest beginnings, we hope it will become a recurring practice in the future, as it has happened in other countries for a long time.

Should you like to collaborate in the reforestation of these plots, please contact us and we will let you know in advance. In section Contact you will find the necessary information.

Note: If you get close to A Espenuca hill, you will see at the very top several plots in which eucalyptus were cut down. These plots are not included in the agreement, since they are not municipal assets. Let’s hope someday we can reach an agreement with their owners!

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