Baldios, in Lousã, is an association, established in 1978, responsible for the forest management and its protection. Its main goals are to raise people’s awareness about the conservation of Lousã Mountains and to bring tourists to the area.
In an interview with the president of the association, Engineer Parola affirmed that the main preoccupation is to connect Baldios with the population in general, especially with the student community. Most of the activities promoted by the organization are related with schools, such as: teaching kids how important the forest is, planting plants, school trips, observing the nature, workshops and diverse awareness campaigns. Besides this, they can offer many activities for tourists. Pedestrian walks, visiting Schist Villages, BTT routes are some examples. Nevertheless the major income comes from the private services provided. Per year, Baldios gain 68 thousand Euros by cleaning private woods.
It is important to highlight the interesting workshops in which people can learn about biodiversity of the forest. From the various workshops they make we can draw attention to Mushrooms Workshop. In this workshop we can learn how to cultivate mushrooms with card and coffee grounds. We can find various species of mushrooms in Lousã Mountain. These fungi like hot and humid places to live. With a bottle, wet cards, coffee grounds and mycelium (the vegetative part of the fungi that will give origin to the fungi itself, which we can buy in garden shop) and we are able to produce good mushrooms to cook. After putting everything inside the bottle, layer by layer, we isolate it. In the first fortnight we must put it inside the dish washer banking. In the second fortnight we must kept it outside near the tap. By that time the mushrooms are already good to eat. With a single bottle we can have two cultures of mushrooms.
The 350 hectares of forest and the activities performed there are promoted in the internet site, social networks and also in flyers. Although there are many activities offered, they seem not to be enough to bring more people to Lousã. The president Parola is looking forward to put in practice some new ideas in order to bring more visitors. The engineer wants to rebuild an association between Baldios and other local institutions so that the promotion would be more successful. In addition the organization wants to create more accessible pedestrian walks so that more people practice, like elder people. Actually they want to be more recognized and well-known for their services.
To sum up, the Engineer Parola said that Baldios are the land of people and it is in the hands of the population to take care of this natural resource.
Group 1: Filipa, Klio, Sara, Sharad