Recovering the A Espenuca native wood

19 November 2017

This morning eleven volunteers visited the North slope of the A Espenuca hill to work on the 1.6 hectares plot in which we will be doing land stewardship for 50 years. Located at the foot of the chapel, it was two years ago when we started the process to transform the eucalyptus wood into a native wood.

Photograph of the volunteersIn the first half of the year we went over the elimination of the eucalyptus trees born from seed (only a few remained that had re-sprouted from stump). With the summer, the fern, gorse and broom made it difficult to locate and even to reach them. We could not clear all the scrub, as the drought makes it too easy for any spark from the weeding machine to set on fire. Nor was it advisable, since with this summer intense heat, the vegetation provides shade and damp to the trees that we had planted.

Today we took advantage of the sunny weather, grateful that the vegetation was not wet because of the dew. A volunteer completed the cleaning of the inner paths, which he had started a couple of days earlier. The rest of us were uprooting eucalyptus and cutting gorse and broom (some of them were more than two meters high).

Free from all that vegetation, the volunteers were able to find the trees we had planted and those that spontaneously grew from seed. At the beginning of the next spring the trees will grow straight without any problem. They also realized that the ground was covered by moss and low-lying vegetation, an excellent defence against erosion on such a steep slope. The improvement of the habitat can also be noticed in the fauna, since while they were working they found a salamander (Salamandra salamandra) and one common toad (Bufo spinosus).

There are still many days ahead to complete these important forestry works: Recovering a wood involves much more than simply planting trees. Should you like to participate in the next volunteering days and you are not on our mailing list yet, please contact us. In section Contact you will find detailed information.

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