Positive balance at year-end

31 December 2013

At this time of year, when in the River Mandeo woods the trees have lost their leaves and in the middle of the cold winter the hazel and alder trees begin to blossom their discreet flowers, we can’t help looking back and taking stock of this year’s achievements.

This past year 2013 was very intense, as you can see in our blog posts. We would like to highlight the collaboration of the students from the Sada y sus Contornos Elementary School, as well as the volunteers during the II Week of Land Stewardship. But the most important was to be able to boost the land stewardship agreements: we reached a land stewardship extension of 64,535 m2, from which 59,142 m2 are in ownership and the rest ceded by the land owners.

For this reason we would like to finish this year expressing thanks to all the donors, volunteers and collaborators for your support. We count on you to continue saving the woods of the River Mandeo and preserving biodiversity in the As Mariñas area. And, since we do not stop working at this time, we will have good news very soon.

We wish you a Happy New Year’s Eve and a fulfilling new year.

One less eucalyptus grove

10 November 2013

This autumn the River Mandeo woods will have one less eucalyptus grove to break the landscape harmony.

Photograph of the lumbered woodA 4,060 m2 patch of eucalyptus grew in one of the woodland plots we had purchased last spring. It stuck out among the continuous mass of native forest still preserved on the slopes of Espenuca hill. Now, after being cut down, the plot shows the desolate appearance of any deforested woodland.
But this is not empty space for us, since it is brimming with our expectations. This wound in the landscape will be closed as soon as the deciduous wood regenerates. In a few years a mixture of laurels, oak, chestnut, birch and hazel trees will restore the ecosystem and will provide shelter to many of the endangered species of our area.

Thanks to our donors, Fragas do Mandeo was able to purchase this and other plots. In some cases they are well preserved oak woods that need little intervention; in others, the removal of alien species and reforestation with native trees is needed.

If you would like to take an active part in this beautiful project by lending us a hand in the forest work, please contact us. You can find the necessary information in section Contact.

Presentation at the IES Arzúa

17 October 2013

Invited by the Arzúa Secondary School, on the 25th we will be explaining to the students of this school the land stewardship activities carried out by Fragas do Mandeo for nature preservation.

This is the second time we will have shown our work at Arzúa, since we did it two years ago during the eighth Terractiva Ecological Market.

Angola is interested in our work

16 October 2013

Photograph of the Angolan delegationIn Chelo today we met with the delegation of a public company under the Ministry of Energy and Water of the Republic of Angola, which is visiting our region to learn about new developments in the area of environmental management. The technicians of GAMED (Office for the Exploitation of the Middle Kwanza) were interested in the land stewardship activity of Fragas do Mandeo in the river environment.

The protection of riverbank and hillside forests is an effective mechanism to minimize major flooding (they act as a sponge), to reduce soil erosion (preserving the vegetation cover), to preserve water resources (they facilitate the recharging of aquifers) and to combat diffuse pollution (they purify water before it reaches rivers or aquifers). We hope that our modest experience is useful in the River Kwanza, a much larger and longer watercourse than the River Mandeo.

Positive balance of the II Week of Land Stewardship

10 October 2013

Today, with the closing of the art exhibition A natural look by Calros Silvar, we brought the II Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and the River Mandeo Area to a close. After this time of intense organizational activity, were the objectives achieved? What is the balance?

The immediate aim of this second week-long conference was to make known a diverse set of stewardship and sponsorship initiatives being undertaken in different parts of Galicia. During these talks we learned about activities that are preserving forests, beaches, rivers, trails or ethnographic heritage, plus revitalizing rural communities. The satisfaction of the participants as well as the congratulations from the speakers for the organization makes us conclude that this challenge was met.

Poster of the exhibitionA second objective of the Week was to encourage environmental volunteering in this area by showcasing successful examples. The three scheduled volunteering days allowed that stimulus to bear fruit: 76 people helped to eliminate invasive exotic species, remove litter in natural spaces or prepare woods for their reforestation with native trees. We believe that this positive experience will encourage these and other volunteers to participate in future events.

The third objective was to further spread the word about the natural treasures of our region. The entertaining talk by Antonio Sandoval showed us his passion for birds and revealed to us some impressive aspects of their migrations, something that we can see for ourselves in our own estuary. For his part, Calros Silvar exhibited an anthology of his work as an illustrator of Galician fauna and flora, work that has been published in a number of field guides that have opened up the natural world to many people.

As a closing event, the trip to Sobrado dos Monxes was a compendium of activities. The participants watched birds, walked old oak woods by ancient tracks got to know about maintenance works in the observatory and plots of Fragas do Mandeo, did some environmental volunteering by collecting trash and appreciated the beauty of our monuments.

Therefore, all of us involved with Fragas do Mandeo are very happy with the way that the week went and we thank speakers, participants and volunteers for their participation, as well as collaborating institutions.

You can see photographs of all the activities at photographic gallery of the II Week of Land Stewardship on our website. Should you feel like participating in future volunteering events, please contact us. You can find the necessary information in section Contact

Highlights of the II Week of Land Stewardship

2 September 2013

At the end of this month and in early October we will be holding the second conference of the Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and the River Mandeo Area. We hope that the program encourages the participation of a varied public, since we have significantly increased the number and type of activities with respect to last year. In fact, they extend for a whole fortnight.

Picture of the program of the II Week of Land Stewardship in the Mariñas of Coruña and the River Mandeo Area This conference focuses on volunteering: the aim is to show an assortment of successful initiatives that are being developed in different parts of Galicia. By means of sponsorship and land stewardship activities, citizens are directly involved in the preservation and conservation of beaches, rivers, paths, endangered species, landscape or ethnographic artefacts. Hopefully, the people taking part in the events will react positively and encourage further participation in volunteering in our area.

Like the first conference, the week is organized by both the Association for Rural Development Mariñas-Betanzos and by Fragas do Mandeo. Funding shall be provided by Mariñas-Betanzos, since Fragas do Mandeo earmarks 100% of the donations received to purchasing woodland plots of environmental interest, and therefore does not have the means to fund this kind of event. We will have also the collaboration of GADISA, who provides the catering for the volunteering days.

Download the program and the poster and share them among your personal circle, so that you help everyone to have the opportunity to participate.

To register for the volunteering days and for the excursion, please contact the organization by phone 981 669 541 or by e-mail info@marinasbetanzos.org. In addition to your place on the bus, you will be covered by accident insurance and you’ll receive detailed instructions.

Volunteering in Ponte do Porco: We will start the week with the removal of the invasive exotic species that threaten beach biodiversity. We’ll also remove all the litter we can. We pulled up a lot of pampas grass two years ago, but more has grown since then. The easiest and most effective approach is to pull them up when they are still young. Please contact us in advance if you’d like to participate. Additional information can be found on information sheet.
Date: September 22, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: Alameda Beach (Ponte do Porco, Miño).

Conference What are birds for?: The ornithologist and great communicator Antonio Sandoval will describe the striking phenomenon of bird migration through our country. His entertaining and well documented way of speaking guarantees a memorable talk in which we will be amazed by little known aspects of many birds that pass through the Betanzos estuary in their long journeys between Africa and northern Europe. The bookshop Carricanta will put on sale the book that Antonio has just published, from which the conference takes its title.
Date: September 26, at 8.30 p.m.
Place: Blue Hall at the Betanzos Liceo.

Art exhibition: At the same event we will be inaugurating at the Liceo the exhibition A natural look of Calros Silvar. This multifaceted artist is going to show his illustrator side, displaying wildlife pictures in which he combines his artistic talent with his deep knowledge of Galician nature.
Date: Inauguration on September 26 at 8.30 p.m.
Place: Blue Hall at the Betanzos Liceo.
Opening time: Until October 10 on the first floor of the Liceo, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Conference on land stewardship and sponsorship: On the week’s main day we have scheduled a set of talks titled Land Stewardship and sponsorship: Citizens’ involvement in nature preservation. After the presentation by the Mayor of Betanzos, Ramón García, and by the President of the Rural Development Association Mariñas-Betanzos, José Antonio Santiso, there will be six talks given during the morning and the afternoon.

Picture of the poster of the II Week of Land Stewardship in the Mariñas of Coruña and the River Mandeo Area In the first one, titled Looking for a valley full of life, Rafael Beceiro, coordinator of the Esmelle Project, will be talking about the way the Valle de Esmelle Association boosts the neighbourhood community and collectively works for the recovery of the natural and cultural heritage in the Ferrol area. It will be followed by the talk titled Locating a river on the map, by Gonzalo Sancho Blanco, President of the Vaipolorío Association. His work for the protection, recovery and inventory of the heritage of the River Dos Gafos area is an example of how a river environment in Pontevedra has been revived by the action of locals.

After a short break, Diego R. Vieites, Secretary of the Fontaíña Association, will deliver From deteriorated beaches to protected dunes about the twenty years his association has been working on the coast in the Vigo area. The results of these two decades are the restoration and protection of the vegetation and the dunes in a littoral suffering a strong touristic pressure during the summer. When a local group’s action makes the difference will mark the end of the morning talks. In this presentation, Encarna González, coordinator of SEO/Pontevedra, will explain her activities to protect the Kentish plover at Salnés. Her work, together with that of her colleagues, is an example of individual action within a local group which meant an endangered species having a future in that region.

Antonio Álvarez, President of the Castiñeiro e Nogueira Association, will be opening the afternoon session at 5 p.m. with the talk Historic trails within the native forest. This presentation deals with the work done by volunteers, from home and abroad, on the ancient trails in the basin of the River Donsal, in Ancares (Lugo). This way they started promoting awareness of its natural and cultural treasures, as well as revitalizing the Cancelada area by means of various activities that took place at the same time as the four international work camps that had been organized. On completion of this speech, Fragas do Mandeo will close the session, with a summary of its three first years’ work and encouraging others to follow the example of the initiatives presented during the day.

To close the conference, we added the finishing touch with an event that it is not on the printed program. The instrumentalist and composer Eloy Vázquez will offer a brief concert of music from the XIIIth century, playing on his dulcimer several cantigas (medieval poems set to music) by Alfonso X The Wise.

Date: September 28, from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Place: Blue Hall at the Betanzos Liceo.

Simultaneous cleaning of rivers: We will go to the River Mendo to take part in the simultaneous cleaning of Galician rivers coordinated by Proxecto Ríos. We will start our clean-up at the As Moas Bridge, and continue along the riverbank path up to Roibeira, picking up all the litter we can find. The length of this 10 km stretch we will enjoy a natural environment that deserves to be preserved in the best possible state. The trail is not difficult, but it is advisable to wear suitable shoes and clothes, and gloves too. Please contact us beforehand if you’d like to participate. You can find additional information on the information sheet.
Date: September 29, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: We will leave by bus from the Betanzos outpatients clinic.

Removal of eucalyptus by the River Mandeo: Fragas do Mandeo has acquired more than 50 000 m2 of woodland this year. Much of this area is well preserved wood, but in other cases it has eucalyptus plantations. During this volunteering day we are going to eliminate those eucalyptus, prevent the stumps from producing new shoots and prepare the land plots to be replanted with native trees next spring. Thus, we will restore the landscape, improve the environmental conditions of the banks of the Mandeo and reduce the risk of fire spreading. Please contact us beforehand if you would like to participate. Additional information on the information sheet.
Date: October 5, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: We will be leaving by bus from the Betanzos outpatients clinic.

Visit to the lake at Sobrado: To close the week’s activities, we are going to take a walk around Sobrado dos Monxes. Guided by good connoisseurs of the area’s nature and monument heritage, we will first visit the local singular trees, then we will cross the remarkable Casa do Gado oak wood, walk a beautiful mosaic landscape and have a rest by the lake at Sobrado. In spite of the importance of this wetland area, it is not part of the Galician network of protected natural areas yet. There we can watch spectacular birds such as the great crested grebe. Before the picnic, we are going to clean up some litter around the lake to compensate nature for the contamination produced by our trip by bus. Then, we will reach the lagoon at Millares and, finally, we will visit the monastery at Sobrado. The trail is not difficult, but it is advisable to wear appropriate shoes and clothes, plus gloves. Do not forget your binoculars and the food and drink you may need. In case you would like to participate, please contact us beforehand. Additional information can be found on the information sheet.
Date: October 6, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Place: We shall leave by bus from the Betanzos outpatients clinic.

Wooded plot ceded for 20 years

2 September 2013

Photograph of the title deedToday we confirmed and extended for 20 years the stewardship agreement of a woodland plot located in Ois (Coirós), thanks to the generosity of Mr. Fernando Álvarez.

With an area of 2,677 m2, this is the second woodland plot to be ceded to Fragas do Mandeo and is located in the same area as the previous one. From now on it will be used for the recovery of native forest, so the first thing we will do is remove the eucalyptus trees that grow in the upper part of the plot. At the bottom it borders the River Mandeo, presenting a well-preserved riparian forest, and within the protected area Betanzos-Mandeo SCI.

Last charity market of the year on September 8th

29 August 2013

Next Sunday, the 8th of September, we will be holding the fourth and last charity market of this year. It will be in the Do Campo Square of Betanzos, as always, and we will be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In October there won’t be any market, because during the first weekend of the month our volunteers will be devoted to the activities scheduled for those dates within the II Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and River Mandeo Lands.

Please contact us if you would like to donate some items for our last market of the year. You will give them a new lease of life and you would help nature conservation in this area. In section Contact you will find the necessary information.

Planning the II Week of Land Stewardship

14 August 2013

The Fragas do Mandeo team does not stop in the summer, not even for a holiday. In the last few weeks we’ve been organizing the II Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and River Mandeo Area, to be held between September 22nd and October 6th.

The program includes lectures and volunteering activities, complemented by an art exhibition and a trip to a natural area. As in the previous event, we’ve been supported by Rural Development Association Mariñas-Betanzos, which not only takes part in the organization, but also provides all the funds for the scheduled events.

In order to get more information and help us spread the word about the event, please download the program and the poster.

Spreading the word in the street

11 August 2013

Poster of the As Mariñas Wine and Local Products ExhibitionWe took to the street again, but this time not to set up our charity market: Yesterday afternoon and this morning we took part in the As Mariñas Wine and Local Products Exhibition held this weekend in Betanzos with an information stand.

Volunteers of Fragas do Mandeo explained our project, the amount of woodland area purchased on the banks of the River Mandeo and the activities for promoting land stewardship scheduled for the end of September and early October.

We were struck by the great receptiveness of foreign tourists to our project, some of them very well informed about land stewardship in their own countries.

Uso de cookies: Este sitio web emprega cookies para mellora-la experiencia de usuario. Se continúa navegando consente a aceptación de ditas cookies e acepta a nosa política de cookies (se pincha no enlace obterá máis información).