The 5th Week of Land Stewardship is coming up already

6 September 2016

We are only a few days away from the fifth conference Week of Land Stewardship of As Mariñas, A Coruña and the River Mandeo Area. Everything is scheduled and ready to start on Saturday 17th.

This year’s program focuses on the recovery of natural areas, a task which needs combining a detailed knowledge of the areas of intervention with a deep knowledge of the currently available techniques. For this reason, these conference talks will be specifically devoted to this issue, and will be divided into two parts. The first will deal with the case of the woods that, having a naturalized aspect, can be greatly conditioned by their past. The second part will focus on the recovery possibilities of degraded areas, taking the opportunity to use as an example a nearby case: the progress in the creation of the Do Catorce amphibian reserve.

Image of the program of the 5th Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and the River Mandeo AreaAs in previous editions, the environmental volunteering days will be centered on two types of action: the elimination of invasive exotic species and the removal of plastic waste along the coast and rivers of the area. The invasive plants are considered the second most important cause of biodiversity loss worldwide, according to the IUCN. On the other hand, the plastification of the sea causes the death of one million sea birds and one hundred thousand turtles and marine mammals every year. Although the planned actions are humble interventions in face of the seriousness of these problems, by taking local action we will be contributing our grain of sand to solve these two serious global problems.

Once again, the Week is being organized jointly by Association for Rural Development Mariñas-Betanzos and Fragas do Mandeo (ARDMB). Funding is fully provided by ARDMB, since we earmark 100% of the donations received for purchasing woodland plots of environmental interest, and therefore we do not have the economic means to fund this kind of events.

Please, download the program, the poster of the eco-regatta to share them among your personal circle and social networks, so that you help everyone interested to have the opportunity to participate.

To register for the activities, please contact the organization by phone 981 669 541 or send an e-mail to This way you will be covered for accident insurance and you will receive detailed instructions in advance.

Eco-regatta on the Betanzos estuary: The litter picked up from the marshland last year filled two industrial containers, making a total volume of 16 m3. Shall we reach that record this year? Let’s try, that is why we encourage every citizen to participate in this fun race, in which the rivalry will be for taking care of the estuary. The participants on the boats, supported by their teams on land, will strive to collect the biggest quantity and the oddest piece of garbage. The start and finish line will be in the port of Betanzos, where there will be some food, drinks, music and children’s activities. The collaborating entities are Amigos dos Ríos de Betanzos, Ría del Pedrido Association, Lar de Unta, Roxín Roxal and Casa Castillo Betanzos. Also collaborating are the Betanzos Council, Civil Protection, Casa Vidal restaurant and Comercial Vicente de la Fuente. Please contact us if you feel like participating, even if you don’t have a boat. Additional information can be found on the informative sheet.
Date: September 17th, from 4 to 8.30 p.m.
Place: Port of Betanzos.

Volunteering in Ponte do Porco: The second environmental volunteering day will focus on the elimination of invasive exotic flora which is threatening the biodiversity of the Alameda Beach. As usual, we are going remove all the litter we can. During the last five years we uprooted the ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis), the Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), the golden buttons (Cotula coronopifolia) and the Canadian horseweed (Conyza canadensis). Apart from checking if any of these has reappeared, this year we will attack other invasive plants: the montbretia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora), the annual saltmarsh aster (Aster squamatus) and the tall flatsedge (Cyperus eragrostis). As in previous occasions, we have the collaboration of the Miño Council. Please contact us in advance if you would like to participate. More information is found on the informative sheet.
Date: September 18th, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: Alameda Beach (Ponte do Porco, Miño).

Day on the recovery of natural areas: The main event of the Week is a group of talks titled Recovering natural areas through land stewardship. After the opening by the Mayor of Betanzos, Mr. Ramón García, and the President of the Association for Rural Development Mariñas-Betanzos, Mr. José Antonio Santiso, we will make a brief overview of the achievements of Fragas do Mandeo after six years of existence, throughout which we have worked hard on the recovery of our native woods.

Image of the poster of the 3rd Eco-regatta Ría de BetanzosThe first group of talks will deal with native forests and riparian woods. The first one will be given by Dr. José Guitián, researcher and permanent professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, who is going to explain the relationship of mutual dependence between native trees and fruitarian birds. Later on, Dr. Javier Amigo and Dr. Manuel Antonio Rodríguez Guitián, also researchers and professors of that University, will intervene. As experts on the local flora (they have just published a guide of the vegetation on the River Mandeo basin), they will explain the composition of our woods and how much it differs from what would be a totally natural estate. The second group of talks will start after the mid-morning break. Dr. Serafín González, researcher of the CSIC and president of the SGHN (Natural History Galician Society), will inform us on several cases of restoration of degraded habitats, both through natural causes and as a result of industrial activities. Finally, Mr. Juan Neira, secretary of the board of trustees of Fragas do Mandeo, will present a nearby example of recovery of a degraded area: the creation of the Do Catorce amphibian reserve, which we have undertaken only two months ago.
Date: September 24th, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: Blue Room at the Betanzos Liceo.

Simultaneous cleaning of rivers: For the fourth time we will be at the River Mendo to participate in the ninth simultaneous cleaning of Galician rivers coordinated by Proxecto Ríos. Although this year was postponed because of the elections, we have kept the initial date for organizational reasons. Last year 691 people belonging to 54 organizations, got together with us to collect more than 13 tons of garbage in 47 rivers. We will distribute the river stretches according to the number of registered people, with the aim of collecting all the garbage we can find between As Moas bridge and Taibo bridge. It is an 8 km-long beautiful route, a large stretch of it forming part of the protected natural heritage site SAC Betanzos-Mandeo. The path is not hard-going, but it is advisable to wear footwear and clothes suitable for walking in the woods, and to take gloves and a walking stick too. The Coirós Council will cooperate managing the transport and processing of all the litter we collect. We will go on in the afternoon collecting garbage from boats along the navigable stretch of the River Mandeo, with the collaboration of Amigos dos Ríos de Betanzos. Please contact us in advance in case you would like to participate. Additional information can be found in the informative sheet.
Date: September 25th, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: The meeting point will be the Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos.

The Week of Land Stewardship is more than just a local cultural event. Its aim is to provide an occasion for people concerned about the natural heritage of our area to act in a direct, effective and coordinated way for its conservation.

It’s time to act for our natural heritage: Do join us!

Photograph of volunteers in Alameda beach

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