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ARC Forest Grows!

ARC Forest Grows
16 November 2012

The ARC Forest was established in 2010 to celebrate the 25th ARC departing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.  After quarter of a century of hospitality from the people of Gran Canaria, World Cruising Club wanted to give something that would last for at least another 25 years.

Working with local environmental charity Fundacion Foresta, land for the new ARC Forest was secured in the Doramas region above Firgas.  The land is becoming part of a 'green street', linking areas of the remaining native forest with new plantations of mixed woodland, creating a safe haven for wildlife.  The ARC Forest is part of an island-wide project to regenerate native woodland and to reforest land that was stripped of its trees for shipbuilding, agriculture and dwellings.  This is a boost for all flora and fauna, but should also help to increase rainfall in the region.

Participants from UK, Australia, USA, France, Denmark, Norway and Germany took up the challenge to plant the 2011 section of the forest.   Foresta expert Sergio explained the technique for using the heavy Canarian hoes, and the need to give the roots space by digging a considerably larger hole than the size of the saplings suggested. 

Among the volunteers were nine children, who all to plant at least one tree each, sometimes without any help from Mum and Dad!  The opportunity to get away from the boat and the pressures of preparation was appreciated by the adults, especially when the hard work was compensated by beautiful views down the mountain to Las Palmas and across to Tenerife.  

Foresta maintain the land and tend the trees through the year, ensuring that the 2010 and 2011 plantings have survived almost intact.  Drought, rabbits and goats are the tiny saplings' key enemies. In 10 years the trees should have reached 15 metres tall, and at our rate of planting, it should be possible to enjoy a cool and lofty ARC Forest, full of birdsong.


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