Heaths of Serras do Porto: know, enable, conserve

The present application concerns the project entitled 'Heaths of Serras do Porto - know, enable, conserve', which took place in 2018, in the Natura 2000 site (SCI) Valongo. The project’s primary aim was to control invasive woody plants in sensitive habitats, namely European dry heaths and waterline margins with potential for Alluvial forests of Fraxinus excelsior and Alnus glutinosa. SCI Valongo forms part of the Parque das Serras do Porto Regional Protected Landscape, which was classified under the Portuguese legislation on the initiative of the local municipalities of Gondomar, Paredes and Valongo, and has since been the subject of extensive work in recent years. Studies have been undertaken in particularly relevant topics, strategic planning documents have been prepared and intervention actions have been implemented in pilot areas.Thereafter, the main objective of the project was to promote knowledge and conservation of certain habitats and species protected under the Habitats Directive. This included very detailed monitoring of heaths, the development of integrated planning tools and the streamlining of active management actions in priority or pilot areas, while at the same time seeking to empower and involve local actors and the civil community so that they could contribute to the sustainability of the project. This project is a good example of strong collaboration and cooperation between the various entities involved and the complementarity of its components. It may encourage the implementation of similar projects in other regions with the same problem.

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