Charity market on the 4th of September in Betanzos

27 July 2013

After being in Ois, our stall returns to the Do Campo Square of Betanzos for the third time this year, where we will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as usual.

A wide range of donated items are sold at charity markets by our volunteers, who devote part of their free time to help Fragas do Mandeo in obtaining funds for nature conservation in this area. With this money we acquire woodland plots aimed at perpetual preservation of landscape and natural habitats, advancing land stewardship in the As Mariñas area.

Should you like to help with this activity or any other, please contact us. Nature will be grateful to you. You will find the necessary information in section Contact.

Charity Market in Ois the 21st

17 July 2013

Poster of the rooster fairNext Sunday, the 21st, we will be setting up our charity market again. On this occasion we won’t have to suffer in the sun, as we will be shaded by the sports pavilion of Fontelo, in Santa María de Ois (Coirós), between 10.30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

We were invited by the Fillos de Ois Association, who will be holding the Rooster fair and poultry exhibition, including the sale of local products, performance of the charanga band SNT of Betanzos and a pulpería (open-air bar where fresh cooked octopus is served), besides our stall.

It is important for us to attend this fair, because it is a good way to make us better known by the locals. Ois is one of the focal points for land stewardship, which started last year precisely thanks to the altruistic cession of a woodland plot by a local, Mr. Ángel Gayoso. Currently we have already acquired several plots and we plan to continue in this vein, as we have economic resources and find locals willing to sell environmentally interesting land plots near the River Mandeo at a reasonable price.

Completion of works in the observatory

16 July 2013

The third anniversary celebration gave us new energy to continue our work. Today we completed maintenance works on the ornithological observatory at Sobrado lake (A Coruña).

This observatory is located in one of the two plots the Sociedade Galega de Historia Natural donated in 2010 as part of our foundation endowment. Since then we have been in charge of its maintenance. Additionally, we sponsor the lagoon and the section of the way of St James that goes alongside it, periodically clearing litter.

Recent work at the observatory consisted of pruning the willows that grow just in front and prevented birdwatching, repairing the door (replacement of the handle and changing the hinges), the ladder (destroyed by vandals) and roof (one of the metal plates was falling off). Finally, the installation of two information panels (the birds panel that had been installed by the SGHN was shattered), reforming a window to allow watching with a telescope and easing its use by small people, and repairing part of the small wall that fell down during the last rains.

At the same time, we created a new section on our website on Sobrado lake, with specific information that can be accessed right from the observatory reading the QR code appearing on posters with a mobile phone.

Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers who devoted several days of work, it was not necessary to hire staff. The cost of posters and materials used was covered largely by a grant from the Deputación da Coruña (799.05 euros) and another one from Novagalicia Bank [nowadays called Abanca] (150 euros), to which we express our thanks.

Celebrating the third anniversary

6 July 2013

Three years ago Fragas do Mandeo was founded with the aim to preserve the biodiversity and landscape of the As Mariñas area by means of land stewardship.

Since then, with the support of donors and sympathizers, our volunteers have worked tirelessly to achieve the organisation’s goals. Although we are mostly known because of our charity markets, conferences and occasional media appearances, the truth is that most of our work does not have public visibility: locating land plots of ecologic and scenic interest, identifying and negotiating with owners, recruiting donors, maintenance of the ornithological observatory, promoting land stewardship, the unavoidable internal administration… Step by step we have become one of the reference entities for land stewardship in Galicia, and we have been invited to share our experiences in different forums.

Although the balance is really positive, it is not all success. Several initiatives submitted to the Administration have not yielded results yet, due to their usual slow pace, but there will be no lack of perseverance to push them all we can. Nor did we manage to gain any business sponsorship, hard hit by the economic crisis, but there is still time ahead to achieve this.

Dona’s third birthday

Our mascot Dona turned three also, since she was born the day before the constitution of our organization. We can see through her how the Fragas do Mandeo project grows day by day.

When she arrived she was a two-month old puppy, playful and naughty. Today she is an affectionate, somewhat shy bitch, well-trained and full of energy, who accompanies us on our visits to the woodland plots, scents and follows the paths of wildlife.

But this year she also graduated as an environmental educator. She was the presenter of this area’s habitats on the album that Fragas do Mandeo made for the Sada y sus Contornos Elementary School, she opened a blog on our website to give explanations to the students, answered their e-mails, and guided some outings. Thus she was our ambassador to the schoolchildren. We hope she continues to introduce local children to the nature that surrounds them and helps to engender in them a life-long commitment to nature conservation.

Advancing in land stewardship in the River Mandeo native forest

The most rewarding way of celebrating the anniversary with our donors and volunteers is expanding the area in which we practice land stewardship. In fact, last Thursday we exceeded the important figure of 50,000m 2 in land stewardship. To be precise, we reached the figure of 64,535 m2, from which 59,142 m 2

Most of the protected wood plots are in an acceptable state of preservation. But we will have to start a process of elimination of eucalyptus and substitution by native trees. We have already identified various techniques to prevent the eucalyptus stumps from producing new shoots: we will put them into practice as soon as it is feasible and so that we can check what is the most effective and eco-friendly method. The process will be slow, the usual pace for nature, but a positive impact on the landscape and biodiversity is guaranteed.

The first land plot for which we signed a stewardship agreement is already free of eucalyptus. From there we can now enjoy the view over the River Mandeo flowing along its course, bordered by riparian forest. Small oak and chestnut trees that have spontaneously sprouted are now growing on the plot, guaranteeing that there will be native forest in the future and showing us that nature immediately recovers if we give it an opportunity.

The key: donors and volunteers

The enlargement of the protected area depends entirely on the economic capacity provided by our donors. Our challenge is expanding their number in the coming years, if we want to enhance the pace of plot acquisition. Be sure to spread the word about our work to attract new donors from amongst your friends and work colleagues. And don´t forget to encourage cultural and sports associations you belong to ―or any other type― to join those that are currently supporting us.

As the protected area is extended, the volunteering needs increase. There are various activities in which you can participate, in line with your personal skills and free time available. Be sure to get in touch with us so that we can contact you when we organize volunteering activities.

For us, things are quite clear. Citizens can effectively act for nature conservation in our locality. You just need to dedicate a bit of your time or donate an amount no matter how small it is. If we want, we can. No doubt.

New impetus for the purchase of land plots

4 July 2013

Photograph of the title deedOn the eve of our third anniversary, we gave a new impetus to the acquisition of property titles to increase the area in which we practise land stewardship. This afternoon we went to the offices of the Notary Mr. Óscar López Doval in Betanzos to sign the purchase deed of a woodland plot of 16,486 m2 located in Ois (Coirós), near the others already acquired in that area.

The plot adjoins the River Mandeo, and therefore is part of the protected natural area SAC Betanzos-Mandeo. Located on the steep slope of the valley, different habitats are encountered as the slope is descended. At the bottom, a well preserved riparian forest mainly composed of alder and ash trees. Scrub, mainly heatherErica arborea, is found at mid-height. eucalyptuses increase in density up the slope, occupying all the upper part of the plot. We will replace them with native trees as soon as possible, thus improving both the natural habitat and landscape.

As always, we have to thank the people who are supporting Fragas do Mandeo and who contributed the funds needed for the acquisition of this wood plot. We encourage you to join them and become an active part in the conservation of the nature of our region with a donation to Fragas do Mandeo, no matter how small that is. You can find additional information in section Join us! or else you can consult us directly (in section Contact you will find the necessary information).

Next charity market on the 7th

1 July 2013

On July 7th we will set up our second charity market of the year in the Do Campo Square of Betanzos, were we will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as usual.

The last one had the best results of all the previous charity markets. No doubt this was thanks to the great number and range of items offered at a bargain price, many of them of high quality, donated by our sympathizers throughout the winter. Thus, we partially made up for the cancellation of the Holy Week market due to bad weather.

Please contact us if you are thinking of getting rid of items that are likely to be sold at our market. Thus you will be helping to preserve our region’s forests and you will be applying the second point of the three “R” principle: reduce, reuse, recycle». In section Contact you can find the necessary information.

Conference by Sada’s schoolchildren

20 June 2013

The Sada y sus Contornos Elementary School held its yearly conference today. With only a few days left to the end of term, the students reviewed activities of the last academic year.

Photograph of the school newspaper of Sada y sus Contornos Elementary SchoolFor Fragas do Mandeo it was a really emotive journey. We could see the students’ enthusiasm and self-confidence, the fruit of teachers and parents’ great educative work. The conference showed the large number of activities developed and how they were integrated in the whole school program throughout the year.

As part of this review, the students presented all the activities performed within the project Land stewardship and biodiversity: trips to natural spaces to get to know the native flora and fauna, to find the invasive species that threaten them and remove litter, the sticker album showing key players in the area’s habitats, the comments of our mascot Dona and the e-mails addressed to her, the charity market to raise funds for the purchase of an oak wood and the visit to the Notary’s to formalize the acquisition, the TV interview…

Photograph of the conference of the Sada y sus Contornos Elementary SchoolAlthough the children repeatedly thanked Fragas do Mandeo for supporting their project, it is us who have to thank them. In addition to showing a level of commitment and efficiency usually attributed to adults, the experience was really satisfying. Our hope, just like that of teachers and parents, is that this nature conservation project has a lifelong influence on the students.

Dona has many friends now. Although the project is already finished, she will go on writing to them by e-mail and telling them of her adventures in her blog. And they can always count on her to guide them on the trails and paths of the River Mandeo woods.

Charity market on June 9

3 June 2013

Weather permitting, next Sunday we will be setting up our stall in the Do Campo Square of Betanzos, where we will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our supporters have donated a lot of items since last year’s market, so the stall will be filled with books, toys, figurines, handbags, jewellery, accessories, home appliances, etc.

With our donors’ contributions and the income from these markets, Fragas do Mandeo continues buying land plots of high environmental value. Thus we try to restore natural habitats and to ensure the conservation of our region’s landscape and biodiversity in perpetuity.

Live interview with the TVG

22 May 2013

Logo of the Association Sada y sus ContornosOn May 19th, 100 years ago, an association named Sociedad Sada y sus Contornos was founded in New York. Shortly after in 1928, a homonymous school was inaugurated in the coastal town of Sada, the fruit of those Galician emigrants’ generosity.

Among the seeds of altruism that they spread, there was one which took root in the schoolchildren. They organized a charity market to provide funds with which Fragas do Mandeo purchased some days later 2.105 m2 in perpetuity. On subsequent trips they toured the area’s protected places to learn about their biodiversity, to identify the threats they face and collect all the trash they found.

Perhaps in another hundred years, new generations of Sada’s residents will remember their past with pride and renew their altruistic commitment to society and nature.

Logo of Televisión de GaliciaThis afternoon a team of Televisión de Galicia will be coming to Chelo to find out about this beautiful story from the children themselves. The students will be accompanied by our mascot Dona and by volunteers of Fragas do Mandeo. The interview will be broadcasted live today between 7.15 and 8.15 p.m.

Three plots more

21 May 2013

Photograph of the title deedToday we have another meeting at the offices of the Notary Mr. Óscar López Doval, on this occasion to acquire three land plots located, as in the previous cases, in Espenuca (Coirós). They amount to an extension of 5.961m2 located on the banks of the River Mandeo. The third plot is on the top of the hill, where we had already purchased three others. All of them are covered in native forest, with only a few eucalyptus trees to be removed.

As always, we would like to remember that these acquisitions were made possible by individuals who contributed the money needed, and to encourage you to take an active part in the preservation of our region’s nature by making a donation to Fragas do Mandeo, no matter how small or large. Please remember that land stewardship needs the support of all of us to achieve success. You can find additional information in section Join us! or else ask us directly (in section Contact you may find the information you need).

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