On the 19th of December, our partner Volterra Ecosystems went to finish the planting of Zarzalejo (Madrid). It is a lovely post-fire reforestation project in the area of La Hontezuela in the Sierra Oeste de Madrid.
Two years ago more than 1,100 hectares of forest were burnt down, mainly junipers, pines, cistus and pastures. The fire was caused by a motorbike accident. It is important to note that the environmental and heritage damage was considerable, as the affected area has several protected areas such as ZEPA (Special Protection Area for Birds), ZEC (Special Area of Conservation) and BIC (Asset of Cultural Interest). Not only does it have the presence of endangered species such as the imperial eagle, but there are also vestiges of the Civil War in the area. The sinuousness of the valleys in the area and the slopes of the hillsides, together with the strong wind during those days, made the fire very intense.
The main objective of the post-fire reforestation project that has been carried out on 2.1 ha of the total affected area is to facilitate the regeneration of the trees in the area, as well as to reduce soil erosion and recover its properties. To this end, 2,000 trees and bushes of 6 different species have been planted, such as holm oak, Pyrenean oak, strawberry tree, cork oak, hawthorn, juniper, savin, rose, broom and juniper.
The project began with a planting that took place on 17 October 2022, with the participation of several students from the Santa María de la Hispanidad school in Madrid. The rest of the trees have been planted professionally throughout the month of November and December.
We are thrilled to have been part of this great project and we thank Zurich Seguros, Mediaset and Plant for the Planet Spain for making this project possible. We would also like to thank the Zarzalejo Town Council and its neighbours for their willingness and for providing the land for the development of the project.