Wildfire prevention and restoration in the Serra da Estrela
PPL Causas
  • Green
  • Gouveia, Portugal

Wildfire prevention and restoration in the Serra da Estrela

Help us prepare our rural areas for the future: preventing wildfires by creating healthier ecosystems and active communities.

  • 6060

    raised

    21% of 28 000€

    84 backers

  • 10/04/2023

    Expired on

  • Not funded

    This project was unable to raise the required funds

Help us prepare our rural areas for the future: preventing wildfires by creating healthier ecosystems and active communities.

Long story short

After the August 2022 wildfires in the Serra da Estrela in Central Portugal, the communities of the villages of Figueiró da Serra and Freixo da Serra founded the association Veredas da Estrela. Together we want to create new models for the future of our villages, improving fire prevention, restoring and maintaining forests that are more resilient to wildfires and droughts, and strengthening the community. We have already started to work but, with your help, we want to go further and hopefully inspire others to do similar things in their own communities!

Reflorestação com o Movimento Estrela Viva em Fevereiro de 2022.

What happened?

On 6th of August 2022 a fire started near Covilhã, south east of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, devastating an area of 25.000 hectares and making its way to the north of the Natural Park in a period of 11 days, until reaching our area. It was the second huge wildfire, the previous one was in October 2017, that affected our villages in ways and dimensions unknown until that time.

Many of our farmlands and grazing areas, chestnut and olive plantations, and orchards outside of the villages are torched. A recently reforested area with more than 1000 trees planted by 60 people from the villages and volunteers suffered great losses. Many families lost at least parts of their farms, if not all of it.

O vale entre Figueiró e Linhares da Beira, após o incêndio.

After 2017, many of us thought that this kind of fire was an exception, only possible due to the extreme weather conditions during that day and night in October 2017. 2022 proved us wrong and showed us that it’s time to act. While we can’t stop wildfires from happening, we can do more to protect our villages, farms and forests on a local scale, giving our ecosystems time to recover and helping them to become more resilient to the increasing threat of wildfires on the Iberian Peninsula.

What we will do...

We are convinced that wildfires of this dimension have diverse reasons - abandonment of land, forest monocultures, loss of biodiversity, droughts and other severe weather conditions caused by climate change, and so on - and thus have to be tackled on various levels that include reforestation just as much as attracting new residents. With your help, we want to do the first steps on some of these levels. Here’s what we plan to do thanks to your contributions:

  • Increase fire prevention by creating a safety zone around the villages, that we maintain free from highly flammable trees and bushes, restoring ecosystems and replanting more fire resilient tree varieties. We need to buy machines and pay tractor work to be able to do this.
  • Maintain basic equipment for first interventions during a wildfire. The first 10 to 15 minutes are decisive in fire fighting, and our experience shows that local people are able to do an important job in this initial time frame.
  • Buy at least 2 hectars of abandoned land in our parish, in a zone strategically important for fire prevention, and turn it into a community chestnut forest. We want to experiment with different approaches of reforestation, from new plantations to caring for existing older-growth tree-stock, thus finding ways to create more resilient forests that can later be applied in further projects.
  • Keep trails in the mountains clear, so that more people can enjoy this area and help us to take care of it, by giving it responsible use and spreading the word.

Uma caminhada por antigas veredas, após o incêndio.

Why it matters...

Throughout Europe rural communities have to deal with similar challenges: the effects of climate change, increasing droughts and loss of population. However, all of us - no matter if we live in a huge city or on the countryside - depend on rural areas for food, water and the air we breathe, but also for natural materials like timber or simply to spend our leisure time. Good and inspiring examples are needed if we want to tackle the problems of these areas so they can keep providing these important services to all of us.

A equipa de uma ação de voluntariado em Outubro de 2022.

Our villages have been hit hard and early by the effects of climate change. However, while demographic change has led to abandonment of rural areas and agricultural lands throughout Europe, Figueiró and Freixo da Serra recently have not only managed to keep a significant part of the younger population, but have also attracted new neighbours - an exception, not only in our region. So maybe this growing community could be an example of how different futures in rural regions are possible? Futures built in participatory ways, based on strong communities taking care of more resilient ecosystems that can be preserved for generations to come. Micro-solutions for globally emerging problems, focusing on the commons, not on individual benefits. What we will be able to do may be small, but we want to share it and inspire others to do something similar, adapted to their own communities.

Durante uma reunião do grupo de trabalho.

If you live in Portugal, protecting our area affects you even more directly: Maybe you like the cheese we produce here, the wine or the beautiful hiking trails. But you surely drink water that comes from these mountains and sometimes even breathe the smoke that comes from its wildfires. Help us to protect this beautiful part of the Natural Park, for us, for you and for generations to come!

About the author

Veredas da Estrela is a non-profit, community based association in the villages of Figueiró da Serra and Freixo da Serra in the North of Portugal’s biggest Natural Park, the Serra da Estrela. After a wildfire devastated almost half of our parish’s lands in August 2022, we started to get organized, joining forces within our very diverse community. A communtiy where young and older people, families, friends, people who were born here and those who moved here recently come together. What all of us have in common is the love for this beautiful mountain area and the commitment to take care of our environment, our villages and our forests.

Votação durante a primeira Assembleia Geral da Associação.

All of us already live, in one way or another, very connected to our lands. Some produce wine or olive oil, some take care of sheep, or just maintain a plentiful veggy garden. Some know how to prune trees, train vines, create ceramics or do wood constructions, bake traditional bread, cook delicious food with local ingredients - and some know every little footpath in the mountains. Community, mutual help and good conversations are very important to us!

Together, with all of our knowledges and skills, we want to create new ideas and ways for the future of our villages, going beyond what we do on our own private lands to protect and rebuild forests that are more resilient to wildfires, to improve fire prevention and to strengthen the community. We organized voluntary actions in the past, and seeing some of the planted trees burn showed us even more how important it is to create and implement a more thorough strategy for resilient and lively villages.

Budget and due dates

Your contributions will be used to...

  • buy forestry tools and machines, namely: 3 brushcutters, 3 chainsaws, parts, protective gear & maintenance (5900€)
  • buy material for first fire intervention: two water pumps and tanks, hoses, flappers and protective gear (7200€)
  • pay for tractor and clear-cutting work to clean priority protection areas (2000€)
  • buy an abandoned chestnut forest and transform it into community land by cleaning, planting and pruning (8500€)
  • organise voluntary actions on community lands and old hiking trails: transportation, meals, insurances and plants for six voluntary actions (2300€)
  • buy hand tools like saws, hoes, buckets, gloves and a wheel barrow for voluntary work (270€);
  • The remaining amount (1900€) will be used to pay the 7% PPL crowdfunding platform fees.

When will this happen?

  • Voluntary actions are already happening on a regular basis and with your help will continue during the whole year of 2023
  • We will clean priority protection areas before summer 2023, making sure they are kept clear during the critical months.
  • Fire fighting material for first intervention will also be bought before summer 2023.
  • Last but not least, we want to buy the abandoned forest during the year of 2023 to be able to start working on it as quickly as possible and start planting trees in winter 2023/24.
  • Invest with
    10€ or more

    Every euro counts.

    Whatever the amount, your support means a lot to us!

    23 backers

  • Invest with
    25€ or more

    Something personal.

    A huge thank you! We sent you a personal Thank You note.

    18 backers

  • Invest with
    50€ or more

    Name a tree.

    One of the trees we plant during voluntary actions will be given your name. Also a beautiful present, isn't it?

    23 backers

  • Invest with
    100€ or more

    Name a tree and get a t-shirt.

    We will name a tree that we plant after you and we'll send you a locally handcrafted surprise product.

    Postman/courier or hand-delivered
    Shipping included (to Portugal)

    22 backers

  • Invest with
    250€ or more

    Name a tree and get a gift.

    We will name a tree after you & send you a t-shirt and a locally handcrafted surprise product.

    Postman/courier or hand-delivered
    Shipping included (to Portugal)

    5 backers

    Limited to 20 units. 15 remaining

  • Invest with
    500€ or more

    "We go hiking. Together!" or "Our mountain on your walls"

    We'll invite you to a 4h hike through the mountains and ancient villages in Serra da Estrela, including a picnic with local snacks and drinks (max 8 people). Alternatively, if you don't live nearby, we'll send you a printed high quality photograph of a landscape from the Serra da Estrela on FineArt paper, taken by a professional photographer.

    Postman/courier or hand-delivered
    Shipping included (to Portugal)

    1 backer

    Limited to 10 units. 9 remaining

  • Invest with
    750€ or more

    "Let’s get the party started" or "Our mountain on your walls and a box of gifts"

    Spend one day in the production of craft beer or a grape harvest, including a traditional meal, snacks and drinks (max. 6 people).Alternatively, if you don't live nearby, we will send you a a printed high quality photograph of a landscape from Serra da Estrela on FineArt paper and a box with different locally handcrafted products.

    Postman/courier or hand-delivered
    Shipping included (to Portugal)

    No backers yet. Be the first one!

    Limited to 10 units. 10 remaining

  • Invest with
    1500€ or more

    Let's get closer!

    We'll organize a team building event for up to 10 people, including a traditional meal, snacks and drinks.

    No backers yet. Be the first one!

    Limited to 5 units. 5 remaining

Thu, 20/06/2024 - 11:01

Thu, 02/05/2024 - 13:32

🌳 O vosso voto para o soito / Your vote for the chestnut forest

PORTUGUÊS EM BAIXO 👇 🙌 Dear supporters, We have good news again: Veredas da Estrela's Soito do Futuro project is among five projects worldwide nominated for funding of 30...

Read more

Tue, 16/01/2024 - 17:11

🌰🌱 O soito continua a crescer /The chestnut forest keeps growing

Caros apoiantes, estamos muito contentes por anunciar que, no próximo dia 28 de janeiro, iremos plantar as árvores financiadas durante esta campanha de crowdfunding. Gostávam...

Read more

Tue, 11/04/2023 - 17:42

Payout completed

The raised funds have been transferred to the campaign owner

Tue, 11/04/2023 - 12:07

Bem-haja! / Thank you!

Olá, Um enorme Bem-haja a todos pela vossa confiança e pelo vosso apoio que tornou esta campanha um sucesso para nós! Não atingimos o nosso objetivo na totalidade (que era muito...

Read more

10/04/2023

Campaign ended

The campaign failed to raise the total amount

Wed, 29/03/2023 - 17:24

Já só faltam 12 dias / 12 days to go!

Olá! Muito obrigado por teres apoiado a nossa missão de criar outros futuros para as nossas aldeias. A nossa campanha está a decorrer por mais 12 dias, e ainda podemos chegar a ...

Read more

Mon, 13/03/2023 - 17:58

We've done the first big step!

We are 50 now, and we have reached the amount that allows us to continue to realize one of our primary goals: to organize volunteer actions to reforest and restore the ecosystem...

Read more

Mon, 13/03/2023 - 17:54

Já somos 50 e chegámos ao

Já somos 50 e chegámos ao valor que nos permite continuar a realizar um dos nossos primeiros objetivos: organizar ações de voluntariado para reflorestar e restaurar os ecossiste...

Read more

Tue, 21/02/2023 - 16:42

We're now 20

We reached the first 20 backers. Let's keep up!

Sat, 18/02/2023 - 09:58

First five backers

We've gathered the first 5 backers. Hurray!

Campaign launched

17/02/2023

Join us so you can take a part in this campaign. Register

  • Veredas da Estrela

    🌳 O vosso voto para o soito / Your vote for the chestnut forest

    PORTUGUÊS EM BAIXO 👇

    🙌 Dear supporters,

    We have good news again: Veredas da Estrela's Soito do Futuro project is among five projects worldwide nominated for funding of 30,000 euros, in a public vote that runs until May 8.

    With this funding, from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), we could plant and regenerate 9,000 trees in the chestnut grove that we managed to acquire thanks to your support. The project also includes organizing themed walks, school days in the forest and the publication of a species inventory.

    We're very proud to be among the five projects in the forest category, out of more than 300 international projects that applied - now we need your vote to make this project a reality!

    This is how you can vote (until May 8):
    1. create an account ("Register") with your username and email at https://www.eocaconservation.org/my-account/
    2. After confirmation ("numeric code" in an e-mail) you can vote for "A Chestnut Forest for the Future" in the "Forest" category below at
    https://www.eocaconservation.org/our-projects/project-voting/forest/

    Thank you so much for your support! 💪🌳🌰

    More news:
    🌱 We bought the chainsaws and brushcutters that we were able to finance through this campaign and that will help us maintain Soito.
    🥾 On May 19, we will inaugurate the PR8 "Veredas e Barrocas" walking route. Applications can be made to turismo@cm-gouveia.pt

    ---

    Queridos apoiantes,

    Temos novamente boas notícias: o projeto Soito do Futuro da Veredas da Estrela está entre os 5 projetos a nível mundial nomeados para um financiamento de 30 mil euros, numa votação pública que decorre até 8 de maio.

    Com este financiamento, da European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) poderíamos plantar e regenerar 9000 árvores no bosque de castanheiros que conseguimos adquirir graças ao vosso apoio. O projeto também prevê organizarmos caminhadas temáticas, dias de escola na floresta e a publicação de um inventário de espécies.

    Orgulha-nos muito estarmos entre os 5 projetos na categoria floresta, de mais de 300 projetos internacionais que se candidataram - agora precisamos do vosso voto para tornar este projeto realidade!

    Como votar (até 8 de maio)?
    1. Criar uma conta ("Registar") com nome de utilizador e e-mail em https://www.eocaconservation.org/my-account/
    2. Após a confirmação (código de verificação num e-mail), podem votar em „Chestnut Forest for the Future“ na categoria "Floresta" abaixo em
    https://www.eocaconservation.org/our-projects/project-voting/forest/

    O nosso bem-haja pelo vosso apoio! 💪🌳🌰

    Mais novidades:
    🌱 Comprámos as motosserras e as roçadoras que conseguimos financiar através desta campanha e que nos vão ajudar na manutenção do Soito.
    🥾 No dia 19 de maio, vamos inaugurar o percurso pedestre PR8 "Veredas e Barrocas". As inscrições podem ser feitas para turismo@cm-gouveia.pt

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  • Veredas da Estrela

    🌰🌱 O soito continua a crescer /The chestnut forest keeps growing

    Caros apoiantes, estamos muito contentes por anunciar que, no próximo dia 28 de janeiro, iremos plantar as árvores financiadas durante esta campanha de crowdfunding.

    Gostávamos muito de poder contar com a vossa presença nesse dia tão especial para conhecerem os locais de intervenção e o soito que, graças às pessoas que apoiaram os primeiros passos da associação, está a ser transformado num bosque comunitário.

    O programa do dia inclui:
    * Plantar castanheiros enxertados, de variedades locais,
    * fazer sementeiras em tabuleiros, para o futuro crescimento do nosso bosque,
    * e concluir a manhã de trabalho com um piquenique-almoço partilhado.

    Se quiserem juntar-se a nós, agradecemos muito que façam a vossa inscrição aqui: www.veredasdaestrela.pt/soito

    Quem não puder estar presente nesse dia, pode sempre visitar-nos noutra altura. Temos todo o gosto em partilhar experiências e mostrar o que temos vindo a fazer neste último ano.

    Com um enorme bem-haja!
    A equipa da Veredas da Estrela

    --

    Dear supporters, we are delighted to announce that on 28 January we will be planting the trees funded during this crowdfunding campaign.

    We'd love to have you with us on that special day to see the intervention sites and the chestnut forest, which, thanks to the people who supported the association's first steps, is being transformed into a community forest.

    The programme for the day includes:
    * Planting grafted chestnut trees of local varieties,
    * sowing seeds in trays for the future growth of our forest,
    * and concluding the morning's work with a shared picnic lunch.

    If you'd like to join us, please sign up here: www.veredasdaestrela.pt/soito

    If you can't make it that day, you can always visit us another time. We'd be delighted to share experiences and show you what we've been doing over the last year.

    With a huge thank you!
    The Veredas da Estrela team

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  • Veredas da Estrela

    Bem-haja! / Thank you!

    Olá, Um enorme Bem-haja a todos pela vossa confiança e pelo vosso apoio que tornou esta campanha um sucesso para nós! Não atingimos o nosso objetivo na totalidade (que era muito grande, bem soubemos desde o início), mas somos muito gratos que todos os apoios foram dados de forma incondicional e irão, assim, ser transferidos para nós e ajudar-nos a construir outros futuros para as nossas aldeias! Obrigado também por todas as mensagens inspiradoras e pelas partilhas da nossa campanha. Saber que tantas pessoas fazem parte da nossa comunidade e partilham a guarda dos nossos ecossistemas, dá-nos ainda mais motivação para continuar o nosso trabalho.

    Nas próximas semanas, iremos dar mais notícias sobre os próximos passo e a forma como os vossos apoios irão ajudar-nos nesse caminho. Ao longo da próxima semana iremos também entrar em contacto com todos que se inscreveram para uma recompensa.

    O nosso muito, muito obrigado!
    A equipa da Veredas da Estrela

    Dear supporters, A huge Thank You for your trust and support that made this campaign a success for us! We didn't reach our goal in its entirety (which was very high, we well knew this from the beginning), but we are very grateful that all support was given unconditionally and will thus be transferred to us and help us to continue building other futures for our villages! Thank you also for all the inspiring messages and shares of our campaign. Knowing that so many people are part of our community and share the guardianship of our ecosystems, gives us even more motivation to continue our work.

    In the next weeks we will give you more news about the next steps and how your support will help us on this part of the way. And until next week we will get into touch individually with everyone who signed up for a reward.

    Thank you very, very much!
    The team of Veredas da Estrela

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  • Veredas da Estrela

    Já só faltam 12 dias / 12 days to go!

    Olá! Muito obrigado por teres apoiado a nossa missão de criar outros futuros para as nossas aldeias. A nossa campanha está a decorrer por mais 12 dias, e ainda podemos chegar a muitas pessoas! Queres voltar a ajudar-nos? Podes partilhar o link para a nossa campanha com a tua família, amigos ou redes sociais, explicando-lhes porque achas que a nossa iniciativa importa ou pode fazer a diferença. Cada mensagem ou partilha vale muito para nós. Obrigado!

    Dear community, Thank you so much for being part of our future! Our campaign will be on air for another 12 days, so there's still a lot of people we can reach. We'd be extremely grateful if you could share the link to our campaign with your family, friends or social media networks again, telling them why our initiative matters to you. Every message or share will help us a lot. Thank you!

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  • Veredas da Estrela

    We've done the first big step!

    We are 50 now, and we have reached the amount that allows us to continue to realize one of our primary goals: to organize volunteer actions to reforest and restore the ecosystems of the hillsides around us. A big thank you for your support!

    Share the campaign so that together we can take the next steps: Purchase equipment for heavier work and for first interventions in case of fire - and create a community chestnut forest. Let's go for it :)

    Log in or register to post comments

  • Veredas da Estrela

    Já somos 50 e chegámos ao

    Já somos 50 e chegámos ao valor que nos permite continuar a realizar um dos nossos primeiros objetivos: organizar ações de voluntariado para reflorestar e restaurar os ecossistemas das encostas à nossa volta. O nosso enorme bem-haja pelo vosso apoio!

    Partilhem a campanha para que, juntos, possamos fazer os próximos passos: Adquirirmos equipamento para trabalhos mais pesados e para primeiras intervenções em caso de incêndio - e criarmos um souto comunitário. Vamos a isso :)

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84 members of the PPL community
support this campaign

  • 60
    new backers

  • 24
    recurrent backers

  • 14
    anonymous backers

Meet the people helping this dream come true