Mijas - Espacio Drang will safeguard the Roza del Aguado Cork oak grove
The Mijas Town Hall and the entity sign an agreement aimed at the long-term conservation of this natural enclave
According to the Ministry for Ecological Transition, "land stewardship is a set of strategies and instruments that aim to involve the owners and users of the territory in the conservation and good use of natural, cultural and landscape values and resources".
To this end, the Mijas Town Hall and Espacio Drang signed an agreement on the 28th of January, which they have been working on for quite some time, for the conservation of the Roza del Aguado cork oak grove. "About six years ago the first image we had of this area was a rubbish dump and now thanks to the support, mainly from Espacio Drang, which tries to instil this affection for the environment, especially among children, we have managed to recover this space, which is idyllic, after the repopulations we have carried out, with the planting of almost 200 specimens of ‘almencinos’, cork oaks, that has become a natural space together with the rest of the existing cork oak groves", declared the mayor of Mijas, Josele González (PSOE), who together with the councillor for the Environment, Arancha López (Cs), and the representatives of the group, unveiled a monolith that attests to this custody agreement.
During her presentation, López highlighted the value of the cork oak grove: "A place with enormous biodiversity, with great environmental wealth, with one of the southernmost cork oak groves in Europe, a place of passage for migratory birds, and a real lung between the Sierra de Mijas and the beaches of Mijas, and therefore a site worthy of being respected and preserved in the best conditions". "Today is a very special and emotional day", she said.
The association Espacio SEM Drang is a non-profit organisation, "a movement for intervention and social transformation that acts by offering social, educational and environmental experiences to bring wellbeing, human development and vital joy". This is how the collective defines itself, whose objectives are focused on " supporting the integral development of people, giving value to play spaces in nature, being the generosity we carry inside, returning to the nature that we are, feeling respect, love and dignity in all actions, and sharing happiness and enjoyment as a group, as an impulse for social transformation".
Among its programmes, Education in Nature stands out, an inclusive project that has been developed since 2015 in the natural environment of the Roza del Aguado cork oak grove in La Cala de Mijas. That is why the signing of the agreement with the Town Hall is an important step in its actions. "Today is the result of the work done over all these years and the recognition", said the president of Espacio Drang, Antonio Rincón, who stresses that the area "is a jewel, for the ecosystem that surrounds it, for the migratory birds, for its nocturnal animals, this place teaches us the seasonal cycles that we live here and in which we all learn day by day".
The Almijara Association of Environmental Monitors has collaborated with Espacio Drang in the promotion of this agreement. "Our association was the first in Malaga to sign this stewardship agreement four years ago, it was unknown to us, although in northern Spain it has been used for more than 30 years", said the secretary of Almijara, Mikel Villar.
In Spain, according to the latest report of the sixth inventory of Land Stewardship Initiatives in Spain, the total number of stewardship agreements is 3,223.
Families are the protagonists
As part of the Education in Nature programme, of which more than 90 families already form part, Espacio Drang offers a space for playing in nature with people of different ages. The Espacio Drang is, as the group stresses, "a place where children can find, discover and share life experiences in the open air based on a bond with nature".
In the cork oak grove, children play and have fun in a unique environment. "They are here creating, playing at whatever they feel like, mixing between different ages, I think this is the strong point of Drang, the freedom they have in a wonderful place", said Gisela Narvaja, Espacio Drang's nature companion.
Of all the spaces that the collective has created in the area, Luna Marcos, a young woman who has been part of the programme for a long time, chooses the Roca del Consejo, "because it is a very important place, where we meet three times in the morning or afternoon, the first time to greet each other when we arrive and find out how we are; the second time at breakfast or snack time when we take the opportunity to talk, tell jokes...; and the third at farewell time to sing songs".
On the other hand, Javier Cruz has very good memories in what they call the Selva Escondida: "It is a very magical place, we went down the (natural) slides, walked along paths with flowers, lived our adventures, climbed small trees, wandered along its routes…".
While Gabriela Rincón, another of the participants, remembers the pirate ship, a space delimited by logs in the shape of a triangle where "we could warm ourselves in the sun on the coldest days of the year" and play at being pirates.
The Roza del Aguado Cork Oak Grove
This cork oak grove is catalogued as a natural space of great botanical and environmental value in the Catalogue of Singular Trees and masses of vegetation of interest in the municipality of Mijas. It is a public green area of 174,409 m2 located in the vicinity of La Cala de Mijas.
This natural enclave combines the tree canopy of cork oaks (Quercus suber) with a mosaic of high and low scrubland. In the best-preserved areas there is a dense cork oak grove with an undergrowth of kermes oak, wild strawberry trees, myrtle, palmettos and asparagus. In the most degraded areas the tree cover decreases and different types of rockroses appear accompanied by gorse and lavender and other aromatic plants.
As a result, this interesting enclave is also very suitable for the observation of various animal species, both vertebrates and invertebrates. It is worth noting the great diversity of birds that live in the ecosystem as well as others that frequent it in different seasons of the year. It is relatively common to see birds of prey, especially during migration periods.
This area has been fitted out with environmental equipment and a botanical trail whose 1.4 km route is equipped with informative signage that helps the user to get to know the most representative plants of the cork oak grove. It is a short circular route that is not very difficult, except in some sections, where the slope of the terrain requires a little more effort, and can be completed in just under an hour. We recommend it any time of the year except in summer due to the high temperatures.
Source: Mijas Comunicación S.A.