It is the sowing with drone of 140.000 seeds in El Cortijico

During the month of October, the AlVelAl association has carried out a new phase of its Plan for the Restoration of Natural Areas in the Public Heritage Mount of the Andalusian Government, El Cortijico, in Chirivel. This action has consisted in the sowing, via drone, with a total of 140,000 seeds of Pinus Nigra.

A pilot experience in Andalusia for the restoration of the landscape that will allow the monitoring of the germination and, therefore, the success of this action; as the release of these seeds is geolocated. Landscape restoration which, as Fernando Bautista, technical director of AlVelAl’s Natural Areas, points out, «Unlike planting, with this action we will not see the tree, but over the years we will be able to see plants with a greater guarantee of survival». As Bautista indicates, this method allows «the plants to invest all the energy accumulated in the seed in producing pivoting roots with a high capacity for deepening».

A work that, with the experience of the collaborators involved, Dronecoria, Spadrone and Reverd in the sowing; makes us expect a minimum survival of 10 percent, which means about 15,000 new trees in the next 20 years.

To this end, 20,000 seeds have been sown per hectare, a dense sowing of wrapped and pelletized seeds for germination on the surface, which has been done with a dispenser designed specifically for this action.

Previous actions

The Cortijico is an enclave at an altitude of over 1,600 metres, which forms part of the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park; it is known for being home to La Sabina Milenaria, an savin albar (Juniperus thurifera), an iconic tree of Andalusia.

An area where AlVelAl has already been active during last autumn-winter with a biodiversity sowing consisting of 9,976 seeds of Sabinas and Enebros near La Sabina Milenaria with clay, humus, hydrogel and coconut fibre; to improve the probability of germination of these species which is very low. Also 1,140 seeds of Pinus Nigra by drowning sowing with 4 seeds pildorized with clay per hole to protect them and humus and hydrogel in the hole to improve absorption and conservation of humidity the first 4 years. As well as 10.000 seeds of Pinus Nigra thrown to volley in surface imitating what will be the sowing with drone to know the behavior before this last performance and after almost one year.

In the same way, a total of 27,000 acorns collected in the area by the students of the cycle of Agroforestry of the IES José Marín de Vélez Rubio were sown, pre-germinated and protected with clay and rude essence to repel the predation.

The aim of the actions in this area, Bautista explains, «is not to generate a conventional forest closed, but a mosaic that increases biodiversity, respecting areas of scrub that can be seen in this high mountain area. As well as generating savin albar cores that help to pollinate this iconic Sabina».

To increase the number of individuals producing acorns, galbulas and berries, a source of food for numerous birds and insects to enrich the present animal community which today has very significant species such as kestrels, peregrine falcons and golden eagles.

An action that is intended to continue in the next season of 2020-21 with the planting of 26,200 new trees, 200 of which with cocoons to try to ensure in the most shady place the survival of some native deciduous trees potentially present in the place and surroundings.

Joining efforts

Over the last two years, AlVelAl’s Plan for the Restoration of Natural Areas has enjoyed the collaboration of Ecosia, the Andalusian Regional Government’s Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park and Commonland. A public-private collaboration which is joined in this last action by Tree-Nation.

Ecosia is a social entrepreneurship project based on an Internet search engine which allocates 80 percent of its profits to the planting of trees around the world with the ultimate aim of reversing climate change; as well as others, in the short and medium term, such as the recovery of biodiversity, a cooler climate, water security, clean air, soil protection and employment.

Using the Ecosia search engine means collaborating with projects such as AlVelAl, whose objectives include improving the resilience of the territory in the face of drought, climate change, soil erosion and reduced fertility, as well as preserving the biodiversity of this area.

Common objectives of both entities that are once again working together on the large-scale restoration project of the AlVelAl territory, whose objectives include the creation of an ecological corridor through the restoration of public and private natural areas with the collaboration of farmers.