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Foreign residents help to plant trees in the Axarquía

Steffen, Lies, Honey the dog, Sam and Miel with Enrique Díaz and the tree seedlings.
Steffen, Lies, Honey the dog, Sam and Miel with Enrique Díaz and the tree seedlings. / J. R.
  • The participation led to more seeds being sown than originally hoped and further events are planned for next year

Around 75 people, including Britons, Germans and Belgians, participated in the second session of a tree planting project run by the Colectivo CreceT organisation near Periana recently.

Organiser and founder of the collective, Enrique Díaz, who works as a secondary school teacher in Periana, explained to SUR in English that among the participants they had "exceeded the original plan to plant 1,500 new trees" and in fact 1,924 seedlings were sown during the event.

Among the tree planters were Steffen Peelmans, his wife, Lies Adriaenssen, and their two children, Miel, 11, and Sam, nine. The family, who have lived in La Viñuela for 18 months and are originally from Antwerp in Belgium, explained that they were "keen to take part in local environmental projects" as they had always participated in similar initiatives back home. Steffen and Lies agree that it is "important to teach children about the environment".

Díaz, who was there with a number of students from Periana's secondary school, explained that he first started the initiative with students while teaching in Cadiz four years ago and brought it with him to the Axarquía when he started working in Periana two years ago.

He said that the objective is to plant enough trees to stretch across Andalucía "like a wall from Huelva to Almeria". While Díaz pointed out it is "impossible" to literally build a wall of trees, they hope to "fill Andalucía with forest". The collective is keen to get companies, town halls and other schools on board with the project and more events are planned for next year.