After the first year of herbaceous sowing, during the autumn of 2021 LIFE RIBERMINE has proceeded with the planting of woody species, scheduled for the second phase of the revegetation of the outer heaps of the Santa Engracia mine (Peñalén).
The planting of woody species was based on four planting modules, designed with an appropriate species composition, for areas with different water availability: high hillside areas, mid/low hillside areas, watercourses, and riverbeds (on a gradient from lower to higher humidity). A total of 2036 individuals of 9 different species (Quercus faginea, Buxus sempervirens, Juniperus thurifera, Pinus nigra, Quercus ilex, Acer monspessulanum, Fraxinus angustifolia, Rosa canina and Salix spp.) have been planted, in 77 planting modules.

Diagram of the spatial distribution of species in the planting modules on the middle and lower slopes.

Prior to planting, the position of each module and each species was marked in the field with stakes and labelled labels. The soil preparation consisted in the opening of holes (30 x 50 cm) with a motor hoeing machine, which were filled with the extracted soil mixed with 250 g of manure. The species most at risk of being eaten by herbivores, were protected with tubes and protective netting.

Field marking of the location of the species in a planting module in the outer dumps of the Santa Engracia mine. December 2021. Photo: UAH-UZ revegetation team.

All these tasks have been carried out under the coordination and supervision of GEACAM by workers from the subcontractor Albar Forestal S.L. GEACAM (the partner responsible for the supply of the necessary material to carry out these actions). The action guidelines have been defined by the scientific team of the universities of Alcalá and Zaragoza (integrated in the partner UCM), which in turn has also carried out tasks of supervision and monitoring of the planting and supply of part of the vegetative material.

Detail of the hollowing out prior to planting. December 2021. Photo: UAH-UZ revegetation team.

Pinus nigra specimen planted with protective netting. December 2021. Photo: UAH-UZ revegetation team.

General view of one of the outer dumps of the Santa Engracia mine after the planting work has been completed. December 2021. Photo: UAH-UZ revegetation team.