2 organisations are working together to create the Froxán Foundation: Verdegaia protects the environment and promotes conservation. Sociedade Histórica e Cultural Coluna Sanfins works with the commons stewardship body in biodiversity conservation, restoration of degraded areas and environmental education and both hold responsibility for the Froxán ICCA Community Conserved Area.
The 100 hectare Froxán Commons in Galicia was the first Indigenous and Community Conserved Area (ICCA) to enter the World Database on Protected Areas after going through a national peer-review process and has been the focus of rewilding and restoration work. It includes a diversity of important habitats, including temperate forests and heathlands. It is also a Special Interest Landscape Site and allows visitors spectacular views of two estuaries from the mountain crest. However, it is threatened by invasive exotic tree species that are hard to eradicate and which increase the risk of fire and reduce biodiversity. Involving the local community, this project will:
- remove Acacia and Eucalyptus trees over 20 hectares and
- plant 10,000 native trees to restore natural woodlands.
- Restore 4 hectares of wet heath through the removal of drainage ditches and the propagation of heather and other species.
- Install a circular 8 km trail for locals and visitors to enjoy the area.
The project is off to a great start with clearance of exotic species such as eucalyptus being undertaken on 4.5 hectares and subsequent planting of 3,500 native species in April 2018. During summer and autumn 2018 a further 12 hectares have been prepared and planting is due to take place in winter and spring 2019. All this hard work has been undertaken through mechanical clearing as well as by hand through the dedicated work of 20-40 volunteers.
A management plan was completed during April – November 2017 to guide the intervention in the wet heathland.
The hard work of the project appeared on national television in LaSexta’s news, reaching an estimated audience of over 700,000! This resulted in dozens of new volunteers registering to participate in the project’s work.
Preparation of a further 5 hectares is planned for summer 2019 with a view to planting the following winter (2019/2020). Most of this clearance will have to be undertaken manually.
Work on the circular trail and information panels will start in 2019.
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