Category Archives: World Land Trust

REGUA’s Trees are reaching for the Sky!

We are delighted to report that the donation from the Danish Travel Fund that led to the acquisition of Anderson’s property in 2014 has resulted in a dramatic change within the Matumbo Valley.

The highly degraded and eroded area is on the road towards the Waldenoor trail on the way to Matumbo.   Until last year cattle were being grazed there and it is amazing how quickly birds and insects come into land after planting.

REGUA planted 25,000 native trees on this 13 hectare site between November 2016 and January 2017 and the weather has been most favourable.

The trees are growing very well.   Thank you Danish Travel Fund for helping to acquire this strategically important area and to the World Land Trust through their “Plant a tree Fund” for financing the tree planting.

Pai Velho July 2017 (© Nicholas Locke)
Pai Velho November 2016 (© Nicholas Locke)

400,000th tree planted!

REGUA planted its 400,000 tree on November 23rd 2016.   The tree species to get this wonderful accolade is  “Angelim de morcego”,  Andira anthelmia.

Raquel with REGUA’s 400,000th Tree (© Nicholas Locke)

One of Raquel’s favourite trees, the planting was made possible by the World Land Trust UK as part of its “Plant a tree” fund, and with the land donated to REGUA by the Danish Travel Fund this was truly a team success.   This particular piece of land is very important as it faces the High Matumbo community and strengthens the barrier of the forest.

This marks a very important point in history for us all and we can only hope that we can, with your support continue to plant trees and reach a million!

90% of REGUA’s trees come from its plant nursery and the entire process of restoration involves local community members and is admired by local residents.

Thank you again – this just proves what can be done when we work together and there is the will to succeed.

Nicholas Locke

World Land Trust – Forests of the Future Fund

The forests at REGUA are growing! The area known to friends as the Protestant land in the Matumbo Gap was an area of pasture that REGUA had long wanted to reforest.   It represented a corridor that could link precious areas to the main REGUA block of forest.

The Planting Team with Raquel Locke, REGUA's Vice President and Sue Healey UK Volunteer.
The Planting Team with Raquel Locke, REGUA’s Vice President and Sue Healey UK Volunteer. (© REGUA)

The World Land Trust had helped us acquire the land in 2014 but the thick mat of imperata or brachiaria grasses was not permitting trees to germinate and gain a foothold. The answer lay in an assisted planting scheme.

The World land Trust helped us again with a grant “Forests of the Future Fund” and Seotaiji the great South Korean singer helped us with the necessary funds to enable the planting of 10,000 REGUA nursery native trees.  Only a year later the results show for themselves.

We have taken many guests and specialists who have been bowled over with the rapid growth of the trees showing that the trees are anxious to form a forest once again. The weather was kind to us after an initial drought and since we have been looking very well after the forests. I wish all forests could grow so quickly!

One year on
One year on (© Sue Healey)

We are now preparing another area for the World Land Trust  “Forests of the Future” programme, but thank you World Land Trust and Seotaiji so much for this important support.

Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal target reached

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World Land Trust CEO Debbie Pain and Nicholas at the British Birdfair announcing the Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal had reached it’s target (© Raquel Locke)

Nothing could give us a greater thrill than the news announced by Debby Pain on the penultimate day of the Britsh Birdfair that the World Land Trust had achieved their target for the Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal; the purchase of the Paloma property situated high in the Sao Miguel valley within the Guapiaçu watershed. Dan Bradbury’s team at the World Land Trust had taken under four months to reach the target, showing how supportive and determined everyone has been to reach this goal.

On behalf of everyone working at REGUA, we wish to dearly thank every single individual supporter who contributed towards this appeal. We can now say that this forested property of 221 hectares full of tall trees and rare orchids, together with it’s animals, can be safely integrated in the REGUA reserve contributing to the permanent conservation of another important section of Atlantic Forest. Thank you all so much.

Tree planting update

Seedlings one year on
Trees planted one year ago (© Sue Healey)

Earlier this year, a 9 hectare area of land in Matumbo was replanted. This land was acquired through fundraising by our invaluable partners, the World Land Trust and a total of 15,000 native trees were planted here. A year on and the trees are establishing themselves, as shown in this photograph.

This brings the total number of trees planted by REGUA to date up to 350,000!

Work will commence shortly on the next piece of land to be replanted. The difficult task of preparing the soil by scorching the non-native African grass has started, ready for the tree saplings to be planted towards the end of the year.

Hunting at REGUA

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Lowland Paca Cuniculus paca kill found at REGUA (© REGUA)
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A shot Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus found by one of our rangers (© REGUA)

Though hunting has been severely reduced at REGUA as a result of patrols by our rangers, it occasionally still occurs. Hunting in the area is becoming less popular – the older hunters are giving up and the younger people are not so interested in this “sport” and as a result of the development of our trail system and a decade of environmental education this pernicious action has been largely eliminated, and overall the population of animals at REGUA has increased. Camera traps have caught video of the Puma Puma concolor and bands Collared Peccaries Pecari tajacu foraging on the trails.

Traditionally, hunters have respected REGUA’s limits, and gunshots at night are a thing of the past, but very occasionally we see evidence of some traps and snares. As the REGUA reserve increases in size, the rangers are stretched to cover the whole area. and it was quite disconcerting that one member of the local community received this photograph of a Lowland Paca Cuniculus paca kill on a distant area of REGUA land.

It is painful to see the cold blooded killing of this animal and it reminds us that there are those who do not respect REGUA’s efforts to stop this sort of senseless slaughter. It reminds us that though biodiversity is rebounding from distant days, there are people out there who do not share our passion and do not care. This should encourage us to keep hard on the trail and stick to our guns – that we are gaining ground and that the forests are becoming healthier, and that our objective is worth every effort.

One of our UK partners, the World Land Trust, is currently appealing to raise £40,000 to allow REGUA to buy an area of forest in the Guapiaçu valley that is very much under threat from hunting as well as urbanisation. By adding this area of forest to the reserve we will be able to patrol the forest and deter hunters. Please help by making a donation to the World Land Trust Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal. Any contribution would be very gratefully received. Thank you.

Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal launched

olympic-forest-reserve-logoIn partnership with the World Land Trust, REGUA has launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase a highly threatened area of Atlantic Forest located in the Guapiaçu Valley.

Called Paloma Coelho, this 89.5 hectare (221 acre) area of high quality forest is under threat from hunting and deforestation, threatening the survival of the rich flora and fauna found here. In addition the property protects the streams that feed the Guapiaçu River, an important water supply for the local community.

The most effective way to conserve this important area of forest is for REGUA to purchase the land and incorporate it into the reserve. The Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal aims to raise £40,000 to enable this to become a reality. Please help us save this forest by making a donation.

World Land Trust appeal for strategic land purchase

Recent years have seen a rapid rise in urbanisation within the upper Guapiaçu valley. The new tarmac road to Guapiaçu village has brought with it an influx of people, many of whom have chosen to build weekend homes in the area, clearing areas of forest in the process. The most effective way to ensure the long-term protection of the Atlantic Forest of the upper Guapiaçu valley is to purchase as many land plots as possible to incorporate into the reserve.

The World Land Trust in the UK have been funding land purchases for REGUA since 2005. They have launched a new appeal to raise £25,000 required to buy a small plot in the currently unprotected ‘Matumbo Gap’ – a series of properties situated between two separate parts of REGUA. This property is crucial to our aim of creating a forest corridor between the two parts of the reserve.

Land prices in the upper Guapiaçu valley have risen sharply in recent years due to very high demand, and this plot may not be for sale for long. To help us secure this vital property please visit the World Land Trust website to make a donation.