Friday, April 11, 2014

Let's go a bit further: Biodivine Project

Biodivine is a Life + 2009 project that deals with managing biodiversity in vine-growing lands. This project was started in 2010 and forecast to finish in 2014 and its main aim is to demonstrate the benefits offered by functional biological diversity.

At Albet i Noya we couldn’t miss out on being involved in a project with an environmental focus that tries to improve the amount and quality of the elements remaining in the fields, following the guidelines that this implies and helping to improve habitats. To contribute, in this way, to nature conservation and also to environmental quality, promoting the aesthetic values of our marvellous landscape which, in our case, surrounds us in the middle of Subirats, amongst the Costers del Ordal mountains.

Therefore, believing in this instrument, we got involved in this project with the intention of improving whatever was within our reach. We have therefore worked very hard along several lines: in many steep sloping vineyards we have planted different species of trees like holm-oaks, pines and oaks in the upper parts and oleander in the lower parts. In places where the slopes are less inclined and not very high, we have planted arbutus (also known as the “strawberry tree”). More recently, on a very steep slope, we have planted more than 7 different autochthonous species of trees and bushes (junipers, pomegranates, ...) all with the intention of steadying the soil and providing a habitat and food for various species of animals and insects.

In line with this idea, we use sexual confusion throughout the estates in order to treat the insects’ affectation in the most natural way possible. 

dditionally, for greater soil sustainability and to favour conservation due to erosion, we have vegetal ground covers throughout the vineyards for 6 months of the year and during the remaining 6 months, a ⅓ of the plots remain covered. These are sometimes spontaneous cases but mostly they are strewn with various leguminous species that naturally fix nitrogen from the air and never contaminate the water tables, nourishing the plants and soil microorganisms.

And finally, and with the aim of conserving what we consider to be a Mediterranean and traditionally vine-growing land, we already have a total of 4.018 metres of dry-stone walls, which we have recovered over the last four years. We have built some and we have also made new ones by organising 6 two-day courses every year. These courses have been carried out to show the local people how to restore and build with the dry-stone technique, these terraces that shape the vineyards landscapes of the Ordal hillside on terraces that we hope will one day be considered to be World Heritage by the UNESCO . These ancestral dry-stone constructions also mean improving on our forefathers’ legacy, and habitat for many animals like lizards, wall lizards, crickets, spiders, worms, snails, ...

We will therefore continue pushing forward trying to fight in the way that most suits conservation and environmental improvement.
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