In 2017 somebody at Sarriguren (in the Iruñea area of Navarre) suggested that part of the town's participative budget be used to create a natural wooded area along the canal there.
As it was not the most voted for project at the time, it was not taken up. However, the idea of a edible forest took root, and now a botanical group there has presented it in a different way. On March 10th several voluntary groups and individuals started creating the forest.
Benefits for Local Animals too
"When the idea was rejected and no money was provided for the project, we thought: Why don't we go ahead with it? There had to be another way to do it", Mikel Etxarte Azkarate – the valley environmental counsellor and the project's promoter – explained to us. The town's botanical group got the project to create the wood going, buying all the plants, trees and materials they needed by themselves.
Etxarte says that they will build a bit more forest every year, and this is just the first year of the project. "The botanical group has decided where the bushes will go: there will be areas for brambles, redcurrants, sloes and trees, amongst others walnut trees, cherry trees and plum trees." They intend to build a walk around the edible forest, and voluntary groups and individuals will take part in the work. "It is important to have spaces like this around cities, not just for people but also for many bird and mammals for whom the fruit provides nourishment during the winter", the counsellor said.
Value of Environmental Volunteering
There are around 20 people in the voluntary group, most of them from the valley itself, as well as some other people from the Iruñea area. Until now the group has been involved with a further two initiative: last year they worked on making micro humid areas more natural for amphibious animals, and on the Aterpeak (shelters) project, making nests for birds of prey.
On 14 April the biggest demonstration in Iruñea for a long time was held in support of the ten young people from Altsasu, Navarre, who are going to be tried in Madrid. Some people thought it was the biggest demonstration ever held there: the municipal police state that 38,000 people took part, while the organizers say that 50,000 did. Claiming that a brawl in which they took part was "terrorism", the prosecutor has called for them each to be imprisoned between 50 and 62 years.
“After taking part in a four-year long process, we have opened a new playground at our school. It will give boys and girls the same opportunities, they will be surrounded by nature and it has come from their dreams." This is now the new playground at Kurutziaga School at Durango, Bizkaia, has been described. It will be officially opened on 24th April.
After making preparatives over the last few months, BiziLagunEkin ('with our neighbours') platform has been set up in Donostia. "The current model of tourism in the city concerns us. We are a meeting place for people from different ideologies and ways of life. What brings us together is a concern about the consequences of tourism in our city on local people's lives".
The Government of Navarre (Basque Country) has decided to offer public health care to the people who have been excluded from it; for instance, immigrants without documents.
A pension of less than 1,080 Euros. That is the figure which the Pentsionistak Martxan (Pensioners on the March) platform has set forward as the lowest dignified pension, and on 17th March tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the main Basque cities in support. The people furthest from that objective in the Basque Autonomous Community (Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa) are women.
The Basque Country Feminist Movement has given its first evaluation of the day. They underline that it was "a complete success", as can be seen in the photographs. They see the strike's success as turning point, and say it is time to take real measures "once and for all". According to the feminist movement, 230,000 women demonstrated in the Basque Country on the day.
Over recent years the FCC company has been in charge of keeping the streets of Hernani (Gipuzkoa) clean, just as in many other Basque towns. But from May onwards Hernani's own Garbitania public service will be doing that. Votes from EH Bildu and Orain Hernani (Podemos) passed switching the service from the private sector back to the public sector.
Basque political prisoner Xabier Rey Urmeneta has died in Puerto de Santa Maria Prison (Cadiz, Spain), more than 1,000 kilometres from his home in Iruñea.
A demonstration had been organised for 14th April in Iruñea in support of the three young people who have been held in prison for almost a year and a half, and to demand they be given a fair trial. After a pub brawl with two members of the Civil Guard (Spanish armed forces), they were arrested and have been held in custody since then.
Last Saturday the anti-incinerator movement organised a mass demonstration in Donostia-San Sebastian (Basque Country). They gave the provincial government and its leader, Markel Olano, a message: "Use your energy recycling, not just burning refuse".