A week of intense work

17 April 2017

The coincidence this week of a national holiday and sunny weather allowed us to address a lot of pending work.

Photograph of the volunteersOn Monday a volunteer got to the Sobrado Lake to do the regular tasks of cleaning and maintenance of the bird hide, and to remove litter from the two plots in which we do land stewardship, the banks of the lagoon and the stretch of the Way of Saint James that goes alongside it.

On Thursday morning four volunteers got to the spot of Chelo (Coirós) to continue the montbretia campaign. They spent four hours squatted to uproot the tubers. They didn’t remove so many, since we have almost eradicated it from the banks of the River Mandeo between the Chelo footbridge and the Teixeiro Bridge, where we have already removed more than 172,000 tubers. But their work has been really important to prevent the montbretia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora) to recover from a few remaining tubers.

Photograph of the volunteersIn the afternoon, three volunteers went to the Ollo da Roda reserve, by the River Mendo. They prepared an area to be planted with native trees, by cutting eucalyptus and piling up the foliage.

The water level at Do Catorce reserve is very low because of dry weather and high temperatures. Amphibians are suffering, since some ponds are getting waterless at a time when tadpoles haven’t metamorphosed yet. We tried to relieve this by taking 340 litres of water, but it wasn’t enough because of evaporation. Finally, we opted for moving those that were stuck on the drying mud to ponds with more water.

On Saturday other three volunteers went over to A Espenuca. The path that crosses the wood plot on the northern slope, in which we do land stewardship, was getting closed in by gorses and brackens, so it needed bush clearance. We went over the eucalyptus elimination too: only a few new shoots appeared, but many other sprouts from seeds. Little by little the native wood is recovering.

Photograph of the volunteersOn Sunday a volunteer did a cleaning route along the banks of the River Mandeo, from the spot of Chelo to Cal dos Arados. We regularly remove litter along the downstream route from Chelo to the Teixeiro Bridge, because it is the most frequented. But more and more hikers walk along the upstream route, so there is always some litter. Additionally, he recorded the spots where he found exotic species: small-leaf spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis), cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) and calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica). They shall be eliminated as soon as possible.

In short: a busy week during which people engaged with biodiversity conservation in our area devoted their leisure time to a really effective environmental volunteering.

Pay less in your income tax declaration

5 April 2017

Logo of the Spanish Tax AgencyThe income tax declaration exercise has started today, ending on June 30. All of us have the duty to pay our part. But there are legal ways to pay less and in so doing, support nature conservation.

People who supported Fragas do Mandeo with donations last year have found that the Tax Agency deducted part of the donated amount from their draft tax declaration. For example, those who donated 100 Euro recovered 75 Euro from the amount they would have paid as income tax.

This is because Fragas do Mandeo is subject to the tax regulation for fiscal incentives to patronage. You can find detailed information on the deductions applicable to individuals (IRPF) and companies (corporate tax) in Articles 19 and 20 of the Taxation for Non-Profit Organizations and Sponsorship Taxation Incentives Act (49/2002, December 23.

So now you know! As you benefit from these deductions, we can continue acquiring woodland plots of environmental value to preserve biodiversity.

The Scouts help us in Chelo

1 April 2017

Six young members of the Chan Scout group came over to Chelo this morning, accompanied by two instructors. Three volunteers of Fragas do Mandeo met them there to get to the woodland plot in which we have been doing land stewardship for four months now, thanks to a donation.

Photograph of the ScoutsA deciduous wood, still young, is growing on this plot. The aim of the volunteering day was to eliminate all the low eucalyptus trees that are growing in the middle of native trees, so that the young trees do not have to compete with them and the ecosystem recovers totally.

The work has not been easy. The plot is steep and besides it was the first time the Scouts have done this task. But they were happy with the experience, and we are really grateful because they came from Santiago de Compostela to lend us a hand with the conservation of the native woods by the River Mandeo.

Since we have not finished off all the eucalyptus from the plot, and we have to complete some tasks in other wood plots, we are going to set new volunteering days. If you would like to participate, please contact us (you will find the necessary information in section Contact).

Biology students collaborate with land stewardship

18 March 2017

Photograph of the studentsToday we have accompanied a group of Biology students of the University of A Coruña and two of their teachers to visit the Alameda Beach (Miño). The aim was for the students to start the practice of Botany following the service-learning method, within the agreement signed by Fragas do Mandeo and the University.

This brings the number of working groups to three. On March 6 we accompanied the first group to visit the Do Catorce and the Ollo da Roda amphibian reserves, and on the 13th we met the second group to go through the plots in A Espenuca (Coirós) in which we do land stewardship. In all these places we explained the activities that are being carried out and the difficulties that we face to improve the ecological condition of these habitats.

In total there are 17 students who will study the flora of these areas, so that the knowledge they gain allows us to manage it more effectively. They will identify the existing invasive exotic species, they will determine the composition of the native vegetation, and the data they collect ―plus those gathered by future students on the coming years ―will make it possible to determine the evolution of the flora.

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