The University of A Coruña does a research at the Mandeo

23 October 2018

Today we had the first work meeting with Dr José Antonio Cortés Vázquez, from the Department of Sociology and Communication Sciences of the University of A Coruña, because of a study that is going to be carried out at the protected natural area SAC Betanzos-Mandeo.

Logo of the University of A CoruñaThe Investigation Group on Evolutionary Biology of this university has just started the research project titled Development of predictive models on functional connectivity of threatened populations in areas of special conservation of the Natura 2000 Network, having the economic support of the Biodiversity Foundation.

The aim of this study is to create a methodological tool for evaluating the landscape elements which determine the exchange of individuals from different populations of special interest species present in the protected heritage sites, and so to be able to predict the consequences of alterations which lead to greater isolation. It also includes the design of corrective measures and the analysis of social determinants for its implementation.

On this occasion the species object of this study are golden-striped salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica) and the Iberian rock lizard (Iberolacerta monticola), since they are confined to certain locations because they have a life cycle which requires habitats with strictly specific characteristics. Its future is clearly conditioned by the alterations of its habitat, being climate change a risk factor. But it is not enough having a tool, knowing how to use it and where to work: somebody to use it is also needed.

Fragas do Mandeo, as a land stewardship entity working at the SAC Betanzos-Mandeo, was chosen as the object of this study for the sociological research part. We hope that the study results allow the various actors operating on the territory to reflect and thus they help us to reduce the obstacles that we find at our work of nature conservation through land stewardship.

Volunteering at O Catorce on the 21st

14 October 2018

During the last months, a couple of volunteers have been eliminating eucalyptus on the two-hectare wood of the O Catorce amphibian reserve. At last they finished cutting them yesterday.

But this does not complete the work. Now it is time to pile up the foliage on one side, and the useful wood on the other, and to dry the stumps which are re-sprouting. In one word, a task that can be done at a pace suitable for each physical condition. Fine weather is forecast.

As usual, the meeting point will be the Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos, where we can share cars. No need to worry about tools, but it is advisable to wear leather gloves and clothes suitable to walk in the woods. Don’t forget something to eat and drink for the mid-morning break.

If you would like to participate in the deeucalyptization of the O Catorce amphibian reserve, please register for this environmental volunteering day by sending your data in advance (complete name, ID, date of birth and mobile number). This way, you will be informed on last minute changes, you will be covered by an accident insurance policy and you will facilitate organization. In section Contact you will find the necessary information.

Meeting point: Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos.
Date: October 21st, 2018.
Time: We will be leaving at 9.30 a.m., coming back at 2 p.m.

Post data: The thirteen participants of this volunteering day finished the work of piling up all the foliage and they eliminated most of the small shoots that sprouted the last two months. Now we only have to keep checking the reappearance of new shoots till we can be sure that all the stumps are completely dry and so confirm that there is none left throughout the O Catorce reserve. Photograph of the volunteers

Exam day at the O Catorce reserve

11 October 2018

The day before yesterday a technician from the rural development group got to the O Catorce amphibian reserve. His mission was to verify that we had carried out all the actions included in our application for aid funded by EAFRD, as a preliminary step before payment.

Photograph of the entry barrierThe funding is aimed at the implementation of actions which required the intervention of professionals and they could not be performed by volunteers. Thus, an authorized manager collected all the asbestos roofing materials, those installed on the buildings and those piled up and left there. Specialists in pruning at heights eliminated the eucalyptus trees that grew on rock walls. The changing room of the quarry was rehabilitated, so that volunteers and organized visits have a place under shelter from the weather. The old electric transformer building was turned into a shelter for bats and nocturnal birds of prey. Finally, we put up a fence to prevent falls from heights, we installed several information boards and an entry barrier to avoid access to unauthorized vehicles.

Not only did we successfully pass the exam, but we even received congratulations. However, something important was still left over to be checked, although it had not been included in the originally-funded project; so we went back to visit the reserve today.

Photograph of a poolAfter a long drought, this morning the soil got wet by the rain at last. This allowed us to check if the actions we had carried out this summer to improve the water retention were successful. Some pools appeared already and amphibians will soon come back to them.

Several volunteers were working hard during these last months, helping and complementing the professionals. Some tasks are still pending, such as painting the visitor’s shelter, clearing away excessive scrub or eliminating new shoots from eucalyptus trees. We will call new volunteering days soon so that everybody can participate in the reserve maintenance.

Program of the VII Week of Land Stewardship

5 September 2018

The seventh edition of the Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and the River Mandeo area will start within ten days. Again, we will repeat the formula «knowledge + commitment», including a conference day and three volunteering days.

Image of the program of the VII Week of Land Stewardship in As Mariñas of A Coruña and the River Mandeo area This year edition focuses on biodiversity, dealing with issues that are little known, although they are really relevant for its preservation. During the volunteering days we will address two severe environmental problems: the invasive exotic species and the litter that ends in the rivers and the sea.

Once again, the Week is being organized jointly by Association for Rural Development Mariñas-Betanzos and Fragas do Mandeo. Funding is fully provided by the first, since we earmark 100% of the donations received for purchasing woodland plots of environmental interest, and therefore we do not have the economic means to fund this kind of events.

Please, download the program, the poster of the Week and the poster of the eco-regatta to share them among your personal circle and social networks, so that you help everyone interested to have the opportunity to participate.

To register for the activities, please contact the organization by phone 981 105 903 or send an e-mail to with your data (complete name, ID, date of birth, mobile number and activities in which you would like to participate). Thus, you will be covered by an accident insurance policy, you will receive detailed information in advance and you will facilitate organization.

Eco-regatta on the Betanzos estuary: The litter we picked up from the estuary in the four previous editions filled seven industrial containers, exceeding a total volume of 50 m3. Image of the poster of the V Eco-regatta on the Betanzos estuaryWe will resume the cleaning where it was left last year, near the Pazo de Mariñán, where we will remove some lorry wheels that are still there, and afterwards we will continue removing litter on the nearest reed bed. We encourage every citizen to participate in this fun race in which the rivalry will be for taking care of the estuary. The boats with the teams of volunteers on board will start from the port of Betanzos to Mariñán, where they will strive to collect the biggest quantity and the oddest piece of garbage. At the return there will be some food and drinks at the port. The collaborating entities are Amigos dos Ríos de Betanzos, Ría del Pedrido Association, Lar de Unta, Roxín Roxal and Casa Castillo Betanzos. Also collaborating are the Bergondo and Betanzos Councils, Civil Protection and Comercial Vicente de la Fuente. Please contact us if you feel like participating, even if you don’t have a boat. Additional information can be found on the informative sheet.
Date: September 15th, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Place: Port of Betanzos.

Volunteering by the River Mandeo: The second day of environmental volunteering will be dedicated to eliminate an invasive exotic plant that is crowding out native species on the River Mandeo banks: the small-leaf spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis). For some years we have been eradicating this South American species on the 6 km stretch that we are safeguarding along the lower course of the River Mandeo. The aim this day will be to eliminate one of the two remaining spots, just by the Zarzo mini hydroelectric power plant, which threatens to spread down the river to areas in which it has already been eradicated. Please, contact us in advance if you would like to participate. You can find additional information on the informative sheet.

Date: September 16th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: We will be leaving from the Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos.

Conference on the area’s biodiversity: As the main event of the Week we have planned a group of talks titled Views on the local biodiversity that should be preserved. After the opening by the Mayor of Sada, Mr. Benito Portela, and by the president of the Association for Rural Development Mariñas-Betanzos, Mr. José Antonio Santiso, we will make a brief overview of the achievements of Fragas do Mandeo after these eight years of experience, throughout which we have been working intensely on the recovery of our native woods and the conservation of rivers, marshland and beaches.

Image of the poster of the 7th Week of Land Stewardship in the As Mariñas of A Coruña and the River Mandeo areaThe first talk will be given by Dr. María Inmaculada Romero, professor and researcher of the University of Santiago, who will introduce us in the specialized flora that takes shelter on our beaches, marshland and cliffs. These are endangered plants, or with limited distribution because they cannot survive in other habitats, which are suffering a great strain due to the high human density on the shorelines. Speaking next will be Mr. Pablo Torrella, director of the Museum of Natural History in Ferrol. This naturalist specialized in beetles will focus on the dead wood present in the woods, to show us its ecological importance, far from the mistaken thinking that it is just an aggravating risk of fire. In fact, the volume of dead wood in a native forest is a measure of its biodiversity, since the life-cycle of countless organisms depends on it. Finally, Ms. Sandra Goded, researcher and founder of the conservationist organization Quercus Sonora, is going to show us the results of her recently presented doctoral thesis, in which she demonstrates qualitatively and quantitatively the biodiversity reduction in eucalyptus plantations with respect to other kinds of land use.
Date: September 22nd, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: Plenary room of the Sada’s town hall (Do Porto avenue 24, previously house of the Marine Assistantship).

Simultaneous cleaning of rivers: This year is the eleventh edition of the simultaneous cleaning of Galician rivers coordinated by Proxecto Ríos. This will be the sixth collaboration (it is scheduled a week before the official date because of organizational reasons). Last year we were 936 participants belonging to 70 organizations, and we managed to remove nearly 11 tons of garbage in river stretches located in 51 different councils. This year we will visit a new water stream, as we will get to the River Lambre with the aim of removing all the litter we can find along the stretch between the mouth of Anido stream and the railway bridge. It is a 3.5 km-long route through a diverse wood which deserves to be known and preserved. The path is not hard-going, but it is advisable to wear wellingtons, clothes suitable for walking in the woods and to take gloves too. Please contact us in advance in case you would like to participate. Additional information can be found on the informative sheet.
Date: September 23rd, from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place: We will be leaving from the Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos.

The Land Stewardship Week is an established event, unique in the area, which provides the people worried about our region’s natural heritage the opportunity to act in a direct, effective and coordinated way.

Demonstrate through actions what you really think. Get moving for nature!

Eliminating eucalyptus at the O Catorce reserve

2 September 2018

Photograph of the volunteersThis morning nine volunteers took part in the environmental volunteering day we had announced to eliminate eucalyptus at the O Catorce amphibian reserve. Although they are in the woodland area and they do not directly affect the amphibian reproduction spots, we would like to complete their eradication before the rains come.

The volunteers piled up the foliage, cut down some eucalyptus and removed litter. The high temperatures forced us to stop work one hour before scheduled. The work is not yet finished, but less remains to be done.

Fragas do Mandeo is a target-driven organization. Therefore, we will call for new volunteering days until the work is completed. If you would like to be informed on the next volunteering days, please send us a message so that we can include you in our distribution list. In section Contact you will find the necessary information.

Volunteers who come and volunteers who leave

27 August 2018

The work camp finished today. The nine volunteers, accompanied by two instructors and the camp director, spent the last week eliminating small-leaf spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) by the As Bouzas stream (Chelo, Coirós). They got to fill two garden trailers with remains, what means an approximate volume of 8 m3. They also removed litter and even an old lorry wheel. Now it is time for the volunteers of Fragas do Mandeo to check for reappearance of the species, since any remaining small piece of the plant could re-infest a whole area.

But, even as they leave to return to their communities of origin, other volunteers have just arrived. As a welcome, this afternoon we have been explaining them our objectives and the mode of operation of Fragas do Mandeo to a group of coastal environment volunteers of the Directorate General for Youth, Participation and Volunteering of the Xunta de Galicia. The eight volunteers, accompanied by an instructor of Ribeirán Proxectos Naturais, are going to give us a hand removing litter on the coast of our area throughout this week.

We are grateful both to those who leave and those who have just arrived, for their work in favor of our natural heritage.

The small-leaf spiderwort of O Bocelo

19 August 2018

This morning four volunteers were eliminating the small-leaf spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) by the ruins of the O Bocelo spa.

Last year three volunteering days were set between July and September to eliminate this invasive exotic species. Twenty-one people participated and performed an amount of work equivalent to more than 16 full time days. During the winter and the spring the volunteers checked for their reappearance in many occasions. When summer came, we were able to verify the total eradication inside and around the ruins. But still missing was its elimination on the top of the building.

At some time, the small-leaf spiderwort managed to climb the wall, thanks to the abundance of moss, settling even at the upper top. Therefore, the four volunteers had to walk the trail along the river bank carrying on their shoulders a large ladder. As usual, the worst of all was coming back from there, as they had to carry an extra 5 big sacks of vegetal remains.

We will continue checking this place until we can be sure of the plant´s definitive eradication.

Starting the third work camp

17 August 2018

The third edition of the Monte da Espenuca work camp began this morning. Ten volunteers coming from different parts of Spain, accompanied by two instructors and the camp director, will be working for our natural heritage until August 27th.

The main task they will undertake will be the elimination of an invasive exotic species of South-American origin, the small-leaf spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis), by the As Bouzas stream. This tributary flows into the River Mandeo just at the foot of the Chelo Visitors Centre (Coirós). Besides displacing the native vegetation, the presence of this invasive plant on its banks implies the risk of the winter river swellings sweeping along parts of the plant that could take root within the protected natural area, where its eradication is almost achieved along the stretch we safeguard along the River Mandeo.

In this way, the work camp will give continuity to the activity initiated by the volunteers of the previous edition. Volunteers of Fragas do Mandeo kept checking the areas of action during the winter and the spring to avoid the small-leaf spiderwort to recolonize them.

This morning we have had the opportunity of explaining to them the habitat restoration activities we have performed, what our objectives are and how we use land stewardship to preserve the biodiversity of our area.

Fragas do Mandeo promotes, gives advice and collaborates with this work camp. It has been applied for by the Coirós Council and organized by the Directorate General for Youth, Participation and Volunteering of the Xunta de Galicia. The management is assumed by Ribeirán Proxectos Naturais, counting on Jesús Díaz as Director.

Back to the O Catorce reserve

11 August 2018

Today thirteen volunteers returned to the O Catorce amphibian reserve to continue the work started on July 22.

On one hand, the elimination of the tall flatsedge (Cyperus eragrostis) was still pending in the pool at the entrance and surroundings.

On the other, the eucalyptus foliage had to be removed. Late last month, a couple of professionals hired by Fragas do Mandeo used climbing techniques to cut down the eucalyptus trees that were growing on the wall of the quarry. The volunteers have had the opportunity of seeing its new look today, before starting to fill up to five garden trailers with the eucalyptus foliage.

The work does not end here: a couple of volunteers are cutting and uprooting eucalyptus shoots on the two hectares wood within the reserve. Their objective is to finish them off before the summer ends.

Volunteering on the 22nd at the O Catorce reserve

16 July 2018

In July 2016 we started to do land stewardship on three plots of municipal ownership in the Pedra Partida hill (Coirós), to create the O Catorce Amphibian Reserve. During the first one hundred days we achieved a radical change of the area, significantly improving the habitat. At the beginning of this month we started the work of this year’s campaign: we cleared the excessive scrub at several points and a specialized company removed the asbestos roofing from the abandoned buildings of the old quarry.

During this Sunday’s volunteering day we will go on with the task of eliminating two invasive exotic species of American origin: the horseweed (Conyza canadensis) and the tall flatsedge (Cyperus eragrostis), that we had already started at this time last year. They are small plants, easy to uproot, but numerous, so a lot of hands are needed. We will also eliminate some eucalyptus that resprouted.

Again, the meeting point will be the Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos, where we can share cars. You don’t need to take any tools, but it could be useful to take kneepads. Remember to wear appropriate clothes and protect your head from the sun. And don’t forget something to eat and drink for the mid-morning break.

If you want to be involved in the conservation of the best spot for amphibian reproduction in Coirós, do register for this environmental volunteering day by sending us in advance your data (complete name, ID, date of birth and mobile number). Thus, you will be informed on last minute changes, you will be covered by an accident insurance policy and you will facilitate organization. In section Contact you will find the necessary information.

Meeting point: Outpatient Clinic of Betanzos.
Date: July 22nd, 2018.
Time: We will be leaving at 9.30 a.m., coming back at 2 p.m.

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).