A29 „Stop deforestation” / Portugal

Local activity of the Erasmus + project „Cycling on Nature’s Wheels”

On February 12, the students of the CEF Gardening group held a reforestation project in the morning at the Porta do Mezio – Peneda-Gerês National Park. This place is the „entrance hall” to the magnificent immensity of the mountains and valleys of Soajo and Peneda. Such a magnificent territory that UNESCO considers it a World Biosphere Reserve!

The activity took place in conjunction with the ICNF (Institute of Nature Conservation and Forest), in the area devastated by the fire of 2016, in Mezio. The action was intended to raise awareness of ecological behavior, including the prevention of forest fires, recovery and recovery of natural habitats, warning of climate change and human actions in the preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, as well as promoting volunteerism and cooperation.

The students, with the help of the ICNF collaborators, planted 250 native species: Vidoeiro (Betula alba) and Carvalho-alvarinho (Quercus robur) in the affected forest area. It was with great enthusiasm, commitment and civic sense that they carried out the activity.

After the picnic lunch, in the Park of the Door of the Mezio, the group visited the town of Soajo. Between the preserved streets of the Soajo, where here and there, pass water courses, found the old jail and school, the original pillory (mark of political independence and where the offenders were punished) and the famous nucleus of 24 granaries in Eira Community.

From here, they left for Porta do Lindoso, where on the way they made a small stop at the Alto Lindoso Dam, located on the Rio Lima. Its utility is the production of electricity, being the largest and most powerful hydroelectric producer in Portugal. The Porta do Lindoso, in the municipality of Ponte da Barca, is one of the five Doors of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. The doors are visitor structures, located in the main entrances of the protected area.

In Lindoso, the students had the opportunity to visit the Castle, where an exhibition on the human occupation in the territory of Lindoso, from the Neolithic to the present is available. The students listened carefully to the history of the Castle, as one of the most important Portuguese military monuments, due to its strategic location (tutelar over the course of the Lima river along the border with Spain, in an interior line between the mountains of Peneda and Gerês ), but also for the technical innovations and style that its construction introduced in the panorama of medieval Portuguese military architecture.

Outside the castle, they were able to appreciate the cluster of 64 granary from the 16th century. XVII and XVIII, all in granite, that remain some, in use today, by the residents of Lindoso. The granaries are centered around a single threshing floor, thus revealing the importance of communitarianism so characteristic of mountain populations.

At the end of the visit, they returned to school with the feeling of accomplishment – in terms of preserving the environment, full of stories to tell and stronger in their class relations.