Visit to schoolchildren in Sada

13 December 2012

Photograph of the visit to the schoolEarly today we visited the Sada y sus Contornos’ Elementary School. The students of this school are carrying out a Voz Natura project in order to get to know about local biodiversity and to promote its conservation by supporting the Fragas do Mandeo’s land stewardship initiative.

The kids were eager to meet Dona, our mascot. Unfortunately, they will have to wait to play with her until she accompanies them on some of the excursions to the natural areas of the region.

The meeting was also useful to talk about the album of collector’s cards that teachers are using as a teaching resource. Organized around five habitats present in As Mariñas, the students have to stick cards of native species that live in them, and also cards of invasive alien species that threaten them. And, sure enough, Dona will be presenting each habitat, accompanied by the ranger Carlos Serantes. To get the cards, children have to go to the library, where they will be given a card for each book they take away to read.

Fragas do Mandeo hopes that in this way the students enjoy themselves while they learn, getting involved with the natural environment through the knowledge of its flora and fauna and taking their own initiatives for its preservation.

Providing information at the Third Sustainability Exhibition

12 December 2012

Image of the exhibition posterToday we take part in the Third Sustainability Exhibition at The University of A Coruña with an information point in which we will inform visitors about the activities of Fragas do Mandeo and land stewardship as an effective instrument for the conservation of nature.

Thanks to the collaboration of a group of volunteers, we participated in this meeting organized by the Environment Office of the University. There were lectures, workshops, games and a barter market.

Additional information can be found on the website of the organization.

Strategies to preserve our coasts

3 December 2012

Logo of the CAG Artabrian Gulf Next week Sada will host the workshop Strategies for Environmental Improvement, organized by the Coastal Action Group. Fragas do Mandeo is one of the guests and we are going to speak about land stewardship as a strategy for environmental preservation of coasts and about the benefits for the maritime sector.

Our intervention is to be preceded by Fernando Jubete’s (Global Nature Foundation), who will discuss his experience in the use of Life funds for conservation activities, and Javier Ferreiro and Marco Rubiños’ (both from the Ibader), who will speak about Life+ Nature projects undertaken in Galicia.

Place: Sada’s Casa del Mar (3th floor). Do Porto Avenue 21, Sada (A Coruña)
Date: December 10th, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

You can find additional information by downloading the program or visiting the website of the CAG Artabrian Gulf .

Presentation in Santiago on 28th

17 November 2012

Image of an oakOn November 28 at 7 p.m., we will be showing in Santiago de Compostela the work done by Fragas do Mandeo. This will take place at the Sargadelos’ Gallery (Nova Street 16), located at the very centre of the city’s beautiful historic quarter, invited by the Galician Society of Natural History.

We will be explaining again concepts such as land trust and stewardship, we will talk about land stewardship, about acquisition of land plots for perpetual nature conservation, of the need to preserve the biodiversity of As Mariñas and the advances of Fragas do Mandeo in its first two years of life, encouraging attendees to support our project through donations or volunteering.

Should you like to spread the word about this event, please download the poster at PDF format (better for printing) or at JPEG format (better to be e-mailed).

Satisfaction with the Stewardship Week

3 October 2012


Photograph of Fernando CoboPhotograph of Francesc Giró

After weeks of preparation and four days of intense activity, completion of the Land Stewardship Week in the Mariñas of A Coruña and Lands of the River Mandeo meant the satisfaction with the achieved objectives and a break for the people who participated in the organization.

In the opening day, Fernando Cobo, Director of the Hydro Biological Station Encoro do Con, spoke of the ecological impact suffered by the River Mandeo and the conservation needs if we are to preserve its rich biodiversity. In this way the public knew the specific areas in which any action is required.

The II Galician Conference on Land Stewardship, central event which was held last Friday, was attended by major organizations of land stewardship of our country, represented by David Rodríguez (Vice-president of the Asociación Cultural-Ecolóxica Ridimoas), Óscar Rivas and Martiño Cabana (Secretary and Member of the Asociación Galega de Custodia do Territorio) and Ramsés Pérez (environment coordinator of ADEGA). As special guest participated Francesc Giró (Fundación Acciónatura).

Photograph of Rafael CrecentePhotograph of Rafael Eimil

Representatives of the Administration, University and corporations took also part in the the three tables: Roxelio Fernández (Sub-director of Nature Conservation of the Xunta de Galicia), Rafael Crecente (professor of the University of Santiago), María Sande (External Relations Manager of BEGANO S.A.), Teresa Porto (Marketing Director of Novacaixagalicia), Antonio Cortés (Marketing General Manager of GADISA), Roberto Arias (Planning and Project Deputy Director of Augas de Galicia), Rafael Eimil (Manager of the Galician Coast Demarcation) and Emilio Vázquez (Delegate of the Ministry of Finance in Galicia).

At the roundtable debates they could analyse the different possibilities of land stewardship for the conservation of the Galicia natural environment, patronage and corporate volunteer participation, as well as the opportunities to sign agreements that allow guarding areas that are part of a public domain or are state-owned plots. In short, doors opened and bridges tended so that stewardship achieves a more active role in our country.

Photograph of the visit to RidimoasPhotograph of a bird watching moment

During the visit to Ridimoas we enjoyed the privilege of being guided by Pablo Rodríguez, founder and President of the association who guards this forest. We learned precise details of the ecosystem and handling techniques, also receiving explanations regarding the establishment and management of stewardship agreements. His affability and the depth of his knowledge made the visit unforgettable.

As a closing for the event, on Sunday we visited the Souto’s observatory (Paderne). The sunny day together with a low tide facilitated the observation of numerous aquatic birds that fed quietly in the swamp.

Fragas do Mandeo is thankful to Rural Development Association Mariñas-Betanzos for their help with the organization and funding, to Agrarian Investigation Center of Mabegondo for the welcome to the II Galician Congress of Stewardship, and to the Betanzos’ Council for lending us the conference room. And, of course! To all the guests who took part in the scheduled activities.

Presence in the media: Interview broadcasted on the local radio stations (listen ) and publishing of the news in the newspapers Betanzos e a súa comarca, El Ideal Gallego and La Opinión – Coruña.

Scheduled events for the Land Stewardship Week

17 September 2012

Logo of the LandLife WeekLand Stewardship Week in As Mariñas of Coruña and Lands of the River Mandeo is scheduled for the end of September, with several activities planned (talks, meetings and field trips). It was organized by the Rural Development Association Mariñas-Betanzos and Fragas do Mandeo. The objective of this event is to spread and promote nature preservation through land stewardship activities, in the framework of the European land stewardship week LandLife Week.

Conservation needs of the River Mandeo: This is the title of the lecture that will be given by Fernando Cobo Gradín, director of the Hydro Biological Station Encoro do Con, of the University of Santiago de Compostela. The preservation of river biodiversity requires a comprehensive approach, not only the conservation of the river itself, but also the protection of riparian woods and native forest in the river basin.
Date: September 7th at 8 p.m.
Place: Blue Hall at the Liceo, Irmáns García Naveira Square, Betanzos.

II Galician Conference on Land Stewardship: Following the first event last year in Santiago, Picture of the agenda of the Land Stewardship Week in the Mariñas of Coruña and Lands of the River Mandeowe now welcome to As Mariñas the second conference with the aim of airing some of the hottest issues on land stewardship in Spain and trying to find a meeting point with potential patrons. The conference is organized around three round tables. The first, Opportunities and determining factors of land stewardship in Galicia, will be attended by representatives of stewardship entities, of the Galician University and Public Administration. Under the motto Meeting points between patronage and stewardship entities, prominent representatives of corporate patronage will take part, accompanied by an expert on this issue, Francesc Giró (Fundación Acciónatura). At the last roundtable, titled Moving towards stewardship in plots in the public domain or ownership this specific matter will be analyzed, as well as the future possibilities it offers.
Date: September 28th, from 9 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Place: Centro de Investigacións Agrarias de Mabegondo (Road AC-542, km 8, Mabegondo)

Visit to Ridimoas wood: Lead by Pablo Rodríguez, president and founder of the Cultural-Ecologic Association Ridimoas, we will visit the woods overseen by this group in Ribeiro de Avia (Ourense). Participants will get to know about in situ the first initiative of its kind in Galicia (it will soon be 25 years old) and the one that protects the biggest area (500 hectares, most of which is in ownership). Their experience shows that land stewardship is an effective mechanism that has also a future in Galicia.
Date: September 29th
Place: The bus will leave from the municipal swimming pool in Betanzos (Carregal Avenue) at 9 a.m. and it is scheduled to be back at 7 p.m. The visit price is 5 € per person, and includes a field notebook and one issue of the group’s bulletin. Meals are not included (there will be a stop at a restaurant for those who do not take their own lunch). We advise wearing suitable clothing and footwear. The number of bus seats is limited, so we strongly recommend reserving your place by calling +34 981 669541, or by writing to

Birdwatching in the Betanzos estuary: To conclude the Land Stewardship Week, a team of naturalists with telescopes are going to spend the morning at the estuary; they will help anyone who would like to see some of the many bird species present at this wonderful site.
Date: September 30th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Place: Bird hide of Souto (Paderne). Those going by car can park in front of Santa Maria’s Church. The way to the observatory is signposted.

You can find additional information by downloading the program. With respect to LandLife Week, you can consult the Press kit.

Other activities of the European Land Stewardship Week in Galicia:

Signing of the stewardship agreement for the land plot Curro de Saavedra, together with work by volunteers for the maintenance of the property’s enclosure and clearing vegetation from specific zones.
Organized by: Galician Association of Land Stewardship
Date: October 5th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: Saavedra (Begonte, Lugo)

Cleaning up litter from rivers all around Galicia by volunteers (fifth event of this kind).
Organized by: Proxecto Ríos
Date: September 30th, throughout the whole day
Place: Rivers all around Galicia

Land stewardship and urban-rural cooperation

16 September 2012

Next September 20th the conference Urban-Rural Cooperation: opportunities and challenges is going to be held in Arteixo’s Technology Center, organized by the Association of Rural Development Mariñas-Betanzos, as part of the events being held in the run-up to the Congress for Rural Development scheduled in November.

Fragas do Mandeo will take part in the round table Challenges of urban-rural cooperation in the vicinity of A Coruña . The multifunctional character of our native and riparian forests offers a great opportunity for the urban world to enjoy the ecologic and leisure services offered by natural sites located in rural areas. The challenge for the urban world is to get involved by directly supporting the preservation of these sites through the land stewardship activities launched by rural society.

You can find additional information on the website of the organization or downloading the agenda.

Purchase of two plots

5 September 2012

Photograph of the proceedings for the purchase of two plots of landTwo woodland plots on the banks of the River Mandeo have added to the properties of Fragas do Mandeo, with the signing of the sale and purchase deeds at the offices of the Notary Mr. Óscar López Doval in Betanzos. Thus, the area in which we do land stewardship for landscape and biodiversity preservation in the As Mariñas locality has been increased by 2,892 m2.

These plots are part of the protected natural heritage SCI Betanzos-Mandeo and show the same environmental characteristics as the piece of land granted by Mr Ángel Gayoso, so the scheduled actions for environmental improvement will be extended to these plots (please see news article of last August 10th).

The amount assigned to this acquisition was provided by several people who have supported Fragas do Mandeo from its foundation, and to whom we express our appreciation. Come and join them in taking an active part in the preservation of our region’s nature by making a donation to Fragas do Mandeo, no matter how small it is. You can find additional information in section Join us! or else ask us directly (in section Contact where you may find the information you need).

Last market of the year on September 2nd

23 August 2012

On September 2nd we will be holding the last charity market of the year at the usual place, the Do Campo Square in Betanzos, from 10 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.

The income from these markets go towards the fund for nature conservation of As Mariñas and cover all the organization‘s running costs. Thus all donations are wholly used for the purchase of plots for land custody to preserve local landscape and biodiversity.

Granting of use of a wood in a protected site

10 August 2012

Photograph of the event of granting of the use of a plot

Yesterday Fragas do Mandeo was granted use of a woodland plot located on the banks of the River Mandeo, close to a place named Flores (Coirós, A Coruña), thanks to the generosity of a resident of Ois.

Three hours before the conference at the centre of the Fillos de Ois Association, we went to the Notary’s Mr Oscar Lopez Doval in Betanzos to sign the grant. The owner, Mr Angel Gayoso, granted us the use of the land for 20 years so that Fragas do Mandeo can use it for the preservation of biodiversity and landscape.

This plot has a cadastral surface of 2715 m2 and is part of the protected natural site SCI Betanzos-Mandeo. Located on the steep slope of the valley, its vegetation varies with height. The top is populated by eucalyptus; a moor of heather grows on mid-slope and on the bottom, bordering the river, flourishes a dense riparian forest.

Once the legal procedures have been completed, we are going to proceed with the elimination of the eucalyptus trees and subsequent regeneration of the vegetation cover. Thus we will improve the landscape, increase the coverage of native forest and prevent fires. The eucalyptus trees, close to a highway and moving downhill by spontaneous colonization, present a high fire risk. Their replacement by native trees will hinder the spread of fires.

Fragas do Mandeo is grateful to Mr Angel Gayoso for his generosity, to his son Miguel for his work in the area for Fragas do Mandeo and to the Fillos de Ois Association for giving us the opportunity to present our work on such as a significant day for us.

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