Tag Archives: Heritage

21 fig tree enclosures are restored by the Land Stewardship Scheme

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It is noticeable, without paying much attention, that one of the icons of the Menorcan agricultural landscape has been losing its strength and vigor over the last few years. We are referring to the fig tree, this tree of dry land that with very little care was producing golden gifts in the middle of August.

The Land Stewardship Scheme has started a series of initiatives to encourage its restoration. The object is to contribute to the maintenance of the unique landscape that these trees create and, at the same time, diversify produce from those interested farms.

During the last year, through the agricultural days of volunteering, 21 fig tree enclosures have been restored.  Volunteer help on the farms has enabled the clearing out of wild olive bushes and brambles that invaded the enclosures, maintaining the dry stone wall structures, pruning fig trees that still had living branches and eliminating those that were completely dead and planting new ones.

Fig trees, amongst other dry wood trees, are planted in the middle of the countryside and dry stonewalls are built round them to protect them from the cattle. However, it is a characteristic to see the animals looking for some fallen figs around the enclosures.

As well as the restoration of some of the enclosures, 120 fig plants have been bought to distribute between the farms. The purchase has been diverse:  from the “paratjales” with their distinctive broken red fruit, to the sweetness of the white lady’s neck, through to the bold, first batch of the summer, of the “fig flower” and finishing with the bardissot variety.

The last few years have seen a decline in the figs of Menorca. certainly  the effect of climate change and lack of water, combined with no maintenance, are some of the factors that come into play in lowering the crop defences against disease.

Harvest figs again at the end of August to accompany an oliaigua or enjoy the smell of ripe figs. Look for the fresh green leaves in summer or enjoy the simple tastes from a bunch of figs picked in the early morning and eating them fresh from the night. We can retain some of those pleasures if we continue with the restoration of the emblematic fig trees in Menorca.

The agreement between GOB and the farms signed up to the Land Stewardship Scheme gives the farms the option to diversify their products and maintain distinctive landscape features such as the fig tree enclosures. That is only one of the many options that is gained from the mutual benefit between the farms and volunteers each year. Many thanks to all those who took part in the volunteering activities.

The activity has the economic support of the Menorca Island Council, the Menorca Preservation Fund and the MAVA Foundation.

Today for tomorrow. Where should we sign?

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On Tuesday a campaign to collect signatures, to present to Parliament, for an Act for the Welfare of Current and Future Generations of the Balearic Islands will be explained. It will be informative clarifying the reasons for and content of the Act and will take place on Tuesday 15 March in the GOB offices (Moli del Rei, Cami des Castell, 53, Maó) at 8 pm. Continue reading Today for tomorrow. Where should we sign?

We are presenting a People’s Legislative Initiative to Parliament to guarantee the welfare of current and future generations

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GOB, together with other socio-ecological groups, has been working intensively for some time in order to focus collective proposals aimed at an Eco social transition. The law that we are proposing in the Balearic Parliament has as its main purpose to guarantee the welfare of current and future generations. Once the law is admitted for processing, we will start a campaign to collect signatures so that it can be discussed in a plenary session.

We are clear in thinking about the world and particularly about the Balearic Islands that they are heading towards a complex social and ecological scenario:  the climate crisis, the massive loss of biodiversity, the scarcity of resources, require a collective confrontation to a future full of challenges that will change our social and economic organization.

We have no way of knowing, yet, what the magnitude of the changes will be that we as a society need to face. However, we do know that they will have a significant impact on our lives and on that of future generations. We also know that individuals and companies are obliged to rethink the way we live and consume, in order to mitigate economic and social risks and be able to offer a future with guarantees for generations to come.

The main purpose of the law we are presenting to Parliament is to guarantee the welfare of current and future generations, therefore:

  1. Set the objectives to be achieved now for the welfare of current and future generations.
  2. Determine the necessity to carry out an impact assessment report on the welfare of current and future generations, showing the potential impact with positive and negative repercussions on future generations as well as the ability to define a social, economic and environmental model in accordance with the objectives.
  3. Determine the creation of a Commission for the welfare of current and future generations of the Balearic Islands. The Commission will be formed of a President, Secretary and a multidisciplinary technical committee with people who are experts in the fields of education, research and innovation, agro ecology and biodiversity, the mitigation of and adaptation to the climate crisis, social justice, the economic model, urbanisation, land and resources, equality and gender politics, immigration, culture, childhood and youth, public health.

We need an unprecedented legal framework that guarantees the preservation of life. We know that this is the only way out if we want to guarantee the future. We need a change in values and priorities that emanate from a standard framework that permeates throughout all economic, public and private sectors both in social spheres and in the areas of public health, and in the resources and the environment that sustain us. Only this way will life and our future be possible.

What is a People’s Legislative Initiative?

It is a mechanism for direct democracy:  the public can propose legal initiatives without the mediation of political parties. These proposals have to be supported by a number of signatures and, according to the current law in force in the Balearic Islands, 7,500 are required.

What do we want to achieve with this bill?

We want, by law, all these rules, plans, programmes and administrative acts to be assessed for their potential impacts and repercussions, both positive and negative, on current and future generations.  In summary, we want to know how the life of people and the environment will be affected by those projects that, by their magnitude, can decisively condition the environment and social justice.


The proposed legislation has been registered in Parliament and is now pending admission for processing by the Parliamentary Office, as established. From that moment on an intensive, four-month campaign will be launched, to collect and notarise, the signatures required to be able to endorse the proposal. Thus, an intense social mobilisation throughout the land will begin in order to emphasise how the policies of today need to respond for the generations of tomorrow.

Friday 24 September: song for the climate

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In relation to the international conference on climate change, Menorca has organised an event for people to participate in singing and in the reading of a manifesto. This will be on Friday 24 September at 19.00 in the patio area at the back of Sant Francesc in Mahon with the music of Bella Ciao, with lyrics adapted for the Island. Continue reading Friday 24 September: song for the climate

Es Molí de Baix joins the Land Stewardship Scheme

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Immense cliffs, Egyptian vultures flying above, shade from holm oaks, pines and irrigation ditches remind us of past times. We are entering a place of great ecological and cultural value, notable for its legends and history that hides Es Moli de Baix, a farm newly incorporated into the network of the Land Stewardship Scheme. Continue reading Es Molí de Baix joins the Land Stewardship Scheme

Menorca Region of European Gastronomy, discussion on 19 February

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Menorca was appointed in January last year to be the Region of European Gastronomy for 2020. To talk on what it will be about and the importance such a project can have for Menorca, will be Luisa Coll Hellyer, who was appointed the coordinator for the project and Borja Matoses, food critic, consultant and ambassador for the Menorca Region of European Gastronomy. The event will take place on Friday at 8 pm and you can follow it at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0cBAlzUzj4fsDE0j13adlg

Continue reading Menorca Region of European Gastronomy, discussion on 19 February

Sunday 2, excursion to Ses Roques LlisEs and na Comerma de Sa Garita

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A new excursion for the cycle “Are we Talyotic?” is scheduled for Sunday 2 February. On this occasion, we will visit three archaeological sites: the megalithic tomb of Ses Roques Llises, the monument of Na Comerma de Sa Garita and a part of the settlement of Torre d’en Galmés. Continue reading Sunday 2, excursion to Ses Roques LlisEs and na Comerma de Sa Garita