A Espenuca one year later

7 May 2016

This morning twenty four volunteers were in A Espenuca drying out eucalyptus. At the plot on the North slope, right below the chapel, they went over the stumps that were not yet dry and they uprooted the eucalyptus born from seeds this spring.

Photograph of the volunteersOne year ago we signed a land stewardship agreement with the Coirós Council which included, among others, this plot of 16,846 m2. At that time, eucalyptus trees were sprouting again after the last felling and they were already higher than a person. Now the wood plot is clean and only native trees are growing there. A sign-posted trail crosses the plot, so it can be walked by visitors, going through a stretch of well-preserved oak grove. An informative panel enables the identification of nine tree species which are present on the spot and a couple of rustic benches make possible to have a rest while enjoying a view not visible before now.

The radical change the plot has undergone during this time shows the efficiency of land stewardship as an instrument for nature preservation and the work capacity of Fragas do Mandeo. The tasks were accomplished both by professionals (initial clearing of scrub, eucalyptus felling and a couple of stump reviews) and by volunteers who managed the rest of the work, from the panel design to the track creation. Thus, we want to thank the volunteers for dedicating a total of 386 hours of their time to the ecological restoration of this spot in A Espenuca.

However, the work is not completed yet, since we face the challenge of recovering two other plots included in the agreement. They are located in the same spot and they sum up an area of 47,082 m2, having the added difficulty of being a steep terrain full of eucalyptus.

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